A file photo of rookie match officials in action at a Premier Skills referee development initiative. The FAM may get professional full-time referees to curb match-fixing.
PETALING JAYA: The FA of Malaysia (FAM) are mulling the introduction of professional full-time referees for the M-League.
The M-League are currently officiated by part-time referees and the recent dubious referee decisions in the ongoing Malaysia Cup competition have raised allegations of match-fixing and caused discontent among team officials and fans alike.
FAM general secretary Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin said that all 20 Malaysian football affiliates have urged FAM to introduce professional full-time referees and they will bring forward the suggestion to Referees Committee chairman Datuk Astaman Abdul Aziz.
“We are open to new approaches to improve the standard of the M-League. If an idea is viable we will explore it and try to implement it in the M-League,” said Hamidin Tuesday after a roundtable meeting with the affiliates at Wisma FAM.
“We will review their request with the Referees Committee. We also need to look at the cost involved. We should start with 10 professional referees who will be supplemented by the existing referees.”
Commenting on the allegation of match-fixing and bribery in the M-League, Hamidin said, “Bribery is a global issue and FAM have been working closely with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and the police to monitor the situation.
“All allegations of match-fixing are being investigated. In fact, this is an ongoing process and we have always cooperated with the police and the MACC. If there is any breakthrough, we will inform the media.”
Hamidin also revealed that only three affiliates out of 20, namely Johor, Penang and Sarawak, have yet to set up their Integrity Committee as directed last year.
The purpose of the committee, comprising two affiliate members and a representative each from the police and the state anti-corruption commission, is to investigate match-fixing allegations.
He also added that the SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) have been set up for the Integrity Committee. They will be tasked with monitoring any suspicious activity and submit a monthly report to FAM.
“Penang have assured us that they will be setting up their committee soon as they just recently held their Annual General Meeting,” he said.
“Johor and Sarawak confirmed that they have already set up the Integrity Committee unofficially but have requested additional time to finalise details.”