Thursday, February 2, 2012

A fulltime committe to address match-fixing in the M-League

The FA of Malaysia (FAM) deputy president, Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah has announced that a fulltime committee will be in place to address match-fixing in the M-League.
There have been similar committees named in the past and in place.
Let us hope this time this committee is for real and will really address the issues at hand.
It is a surprise indeed that after last year's conviction of a coach of a President's Cup team and also a "bookie" charged for involvement in match fixing in the President's Cup tournament, the alarm bells were not ringing at the corridors of FA of Malaysia.
We are talking about match fixing at the junior soccer level, and it did not ruffle enough feathers to look at the matter seriously.
If Perlis FA had not brought up the matter of suspicion of match fixing in the M-League last month and made it public, probably, the topic of match-fixing would not have surfaced at all despite it being the talk of the town.
It is hoped that with the Police and MACC being part and parcel of meeting held two days ago, around the clock vigilance is kept on players, coaches, officials, former players and those who have been implicated in the match fixing in the past.
Any suspicion of match-fixing must also be highlighted so that the general public and especially soccer enthusiasts know for sure that something is being done to  curb the menace.
This will also part of the 3E method — education, engagement and enforcement - the FA of Malaysia hope to practice to tackle the problem at hand.
At the Special Meeting were Bukit Aman anti-vice, gaming and secret societies (D7) deputy director SA C Datuk Abdul Jalil Hassan and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) director Shamshun Bahrain Jamil and it is hoped they will continue to keep monitoring all developments.
Below is The Malay Mail's Haresh Deol's take on the meeting:

Song remains the same

FAM continue to crack down on match fixing

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

by Haresh Deol

TACKLING THE ISSUE: Tengku Abdullah (centre) has called for stern action to be taken immediately to curb corruption in Malaysian football

AMPANG: It was called a Special Meeting. Sadly, there was nothing special about it.
FA of Malaysia (FAM) deputy president, Tengku Abdullah Shah, was flanked by Bukit Aman anti-vice, gaming and secret societies (D7) deputy director SA C Datuk Abdul Jalil Hassan, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) director Shamshun Bahrain Jamil and FAM vice president Datuk Hamidin Amin at the Shahzan House in Jalan Wickham to announce the formation of a fulltime committee to address match-fixing in the M-League.
Nothing wrong with this picture, except that it was all too similar to what was witnessed at Wisma FAM hardly a year ago — when Fifa’s head of security, Chris Eaton, and several of his investigators were in KL.
Tengku Abdullah was quick to agree this was merely a follow up to the committee set up during Eaton’s visit to KL.
“I am not happy (with the progress made) and that’s why we are here. I wanted to put my point across,” admitted Tengku Abdullah.
“After this (meeting), action has to be taken. Otherwise we have to take full responsibility.”
The meeting also saw the attendance of Fifa’s South East Asia security officer Michael Hetson. According to Tengku Abdullah, Fifa have now stationed four of their men in various regions — Africa (South Africa), Europe (UK), Southeast Asia (Malaysia) and the Middle East to monitor matchfixing.
Tengku Abdullah added the meeting will see several officers — largely comprising of those from the Police, MACC and FAM’s vetting, integrity and coordination committee headed by Tan Sri Aseh Che Mat — working on the match fixing issues on a fulltime basis. Ironically, FAM’s vetting committee did not hold any meetings since the July 2010 congress until a Mailsport expose last May.
One of the reasons for matchfixing lies with the inability of State FAs and clubs to pay the wages of their players on time.
“We will issue them a yellow card (first warning) if they lapse the first month followed by another warning if they fail to pay the players’ wages within two months. If they continue to lapse in payment, we will issue them a red card which could mean the team being banned from the league for the season.”
When pointed out that the national body was still babysitting their affiliates despite it being a “professional league”, Tengku Abdullah said: “We will monitor, but the States need to be professional (in making payments). We too need to be professional.”
The members also decided to adopt the 3E method — education, engagement and enforcement — to tackle the problem.
“We will monitor the players and officials and scrutinise their lifestyles.
“We are doing this for the benefit of football. It is the nation’s sport, the sport we all love. People are now beginning to flock to the stands and we don’t want our football to be marred by greed.”
When asked if the sudden interest by the authorities in match-fixing could result in the 1994 fiasco, where more than 100 players and officials were banned, Tengku Abdullah said: “I hope not.”

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