Local soccer association CTFA denies game-throwing report
The Chinese Taipei Football Association ( CTFA, ) yesterday denied a game-throwing allegation raised by a local weekly magazine, which accused CTFA’s former head of deliberately losing a game last month in exchange for money.
CTFA yesterday told The China Post that the accusation raised in the magazine is far from truth.
“There is no way that the CTFA would ask national team members to throw game,” a CTFA spokesperson told The China Post.
The CTFA made the remarks when asked to comment on the Chinese-language Next Magazine report yesterday that quoted unidentified sources as saying that prosecutors are now probing the alleged scandal with former CTFA Chairman Lin Cheng-yi ( ) in the crosshairs.
The report said Lin has been engaged in illegal underground sports betting and placed huge bets on the result of a game between Taiwan and Brunei on March 12.
Most bettors wagered that Taiwan could win the game with ease. Lin, however, bet on Taiwan losing the match, the report claimed. The national team ultimately lost the matchup 0-1 in the first leg of the two-game series at a Kaohsiung stadium on March 12.
To make sure the outcome of the game favored him, Lin asked Taiwan’s coaching staff to bench naturalized player Chu En-le (
), the report quoted sources as saying. Lin won over NT$40 million.
Lin is currently being held in detention on a separate case after he was accused of fraud. CTFA is now headed by an acting chairman.
In response, CTFA yesterday denied the accusation raised in the story.
It stressed that it is highly unlikely that underground gambling run by gangster could put that much money on a soccer game in Taiwan because soccer is not a popular sport in Taiwan.
CTFA also told local media that it has no knowledge of Lin’s alleged involvement in game-fixing but it is willing to cooperate if prosecutors are indeed probing the case.
No Intervention from Lin:
Asked to comment by local media, Team Taiwan’s head coach Chen Kuei-jen ( ) yesterday denied that accusation as well.
He said that Lin had never intervened in his coaching or asked him to bench a player.
He said it was his decision to bench Chu during that game because Chu was suffering from ankle injuries.
Chen said he felt deep regret for the unfounded report that could mar the image of the national team that is now preparing for its next major international tournament.
Despite the loss to Brunei on March 12, Taiwan, playing under the name of Chinese Taipei, beat Team Brunei 2-0 in their second encounter in the qualifiers on March 17 in Brunei.
The long-awaited win marked the first time in 12 years that the Taiwan national soccer team has advanced to the second round of the Asian qualifiers for the World Cup.
Taiwan will face Iraq, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia in the next round to begin in June.
The group winners and four runners-up will advance to a 12-team third round to vie for a place at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.