Friday, May 25, 2012


More Match Fixing Allegations

SINGAPORE - Just three months after two Malaysian Super League (MSL) matches involving the LionsXII were reportedly red-flagged by world football governing body FIFA for suspected match fixing, yet another fixture involving the Singapore side has come under the microscope.

Sources revealed that four men - two Malaysians, a Singaporean, and MSL referee Shukri Nor - have been taken into custody by the Corrupt Practices Investigations Bureau (CPIB) here and could be charged as early as today, for attempting to fix Tuesday's MSL encounter at the Jalan Besar Stadium between the LionsXII and Sarawak, which the Singapore side won 3-0.

TODAY understands none of the four are current football players.

Referee Shukri was originally scheduled to officiate the match but he was replaced at the last minute by Mohd Tarmizi, and did not take to the field. 

"At the team manager's meeting, we were surprised that the original referee did not turn up," said Sarawak coach Robert Alberts, who on Tuesday admitted that his charges were given a "lesson in football" by the LionsXII who "absolutely deserved to win."

"The fact that arrests have been made, along with the fact that some of my players actually played below par at that game, is very sad," Alberts added.

"I will bring this matter up to the management, once we get confirmation from the Football Association of Singapore (FAS), and there will definitely be an investigation. But it is too early to make any sort of judgment on the matter," added the former Home United and Tiong Bahru coach.

TODAY understands that details are being finalised for charges to be brought against the quartet.

Speaking to TODAY, LionsXII central defender Baihakki Khaizan was disappointed, saying: "Honestly we don't even want to hear about such things. As far as we're concerned, football is a sport and we will keep giving our best to win every game.

"We're not going to feel down about this, we'll just do what we have to do, continue playing football and entertaining our fans."

This is the latest in a string of fixtures in the MSL that have come under the cloud of match-fixing, but only two previous matches - the 1-0 away win over Sabah on Jan 21 and the 3-1 home victory over Negeri Sembilan on Feb 11 - have involved the LionsXII.

The Great Eastern-Yeo's S-League has also not been free from the spectre. Earlier this month, two former S-League players, South Koreans Kim Jae Hong and Jeon Byung Euk were found guilty for attempting to fix the May 3 match between Geylang United and Harimau Muda.

The FAS did not respond to TODAY's enquiries by press time.

''Why always me'' says Malaysia, then blame it on Singapore, the cycle goes on...
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