Football

Published: Thursday August 29, 2013 MYT 9:44:00 PM
Updated: Thursday August 29, 2013 MYT 9:45:44 PM

KJ takes tough stand against match-fixing

Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin greeting visitors at his ministry’s Hari Raya Open House in Kuala Lumpur on Aug 29, 2013. – Bernama Photo

Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin greeting visitors at his ministry’s Hari Raya Open House in Kuala Lumpur on Aug 29, 2013. – Bernama Photo

KUALA LUMPUR: State football associations have been given one month to set up integrity committees to help curb match-fixing or action will be taken against them.

Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said that some states had refused to set up the committees, adding that he would come down hard on those who failed to meet the deadline.

“I have asked them nicely when I met them three months ago, but there are still those who just refuse to do so.

“I’ve given them one more month to set up their committees ... if not I have the right to take action through the sports commissioner,” he told reporters at his ministry’s Hari Raya Open House here Thursday.

He said this when asked what the ministry planned to do about the match-fixing menace, following Negri Sembilan FA president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan’s allegations that match-fixing is taking place in the Malaysia Cup competition.

Mohamad was reported by a Malay language daily as saying that he could “smell corruption” happening and did not rule out his state team’s involvement either.

Khairy said the main problem in trying to curb match-fixing was the reluctance of players to come forward and act as whistle-blowers “as they are uncertain about the legal protection available to them”.

This, he said, was why the state-level integrity committees were important as it would allow the authorities to persuade players who have been approached by bookies to step forward and become whistle-blowers.

The state-level committees are to include representatives from the police and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.

“Some players have told me that they were afraid to step forward as they feared getting beaten up by the bookies and that their families could be threatened,” said Khairy.

“These committees can help in the fight against match-fixing by explaining to them the protection available, and I hope the police, on their part, can also step up their action against the bookies.”

Meanwhile, FAM deputy president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah has reminded the younger players to be aware of the bookies and not fall into their trap.

He also aimed the reminder at the senior players.

Tengku Abdullah, however, acknowledged that despite all the talk about match-fixing, there had been no evidence thus far.

He call on those who know of such incidents to contact the anti-corruption authorities with evidence and to avoid making wild allegations.

“I also like to advise players who have been approached by bookies to come forward to us in the FAM, speak to us and provide the necessary evidence for us to take further action,” he said after attending the Maran Hari Raya Open House, which was hosted by Member of Parliament Datuk Ismail Abdul Mutalib in Maran Thursday.

“All parties involved, be it the players or the associations, should be open and sincere in wanting to cooperate with us to curb any attempts or activities of bribery in football.”

Also present was Tengku Puan Pahang Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah Sultan Iskandar.

Tags / Keywords: football, match-fixing, Khairy Jamaluddin, Youth and Sports

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