KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 22 — Malaysian betting syndicates have grown in stature as their corrupt practices have now penetrated leagues across the world.
Chris Eaton, director of Sport Integrity at the International Centre for Sport and Security, said Malaysians have been in the thick of global betting syndicates and were linked to leagues and agents in Australia, England and Brunei.
He was responding to reports that a Malaysian betting syndicate had tried to fix matches in India last season.
“Yes (I am) aware of this (Malaysians linked to fixing I-League matches). (They are) connected to Australia and England, and interestingly Brunei too,” said Eaton yesterday.
“But it’s far bigger than Malaysia as you know. All our tracks are leading to China and Russia via compliant, complicit and ignorant others.”
Eaton, however, was unsure if the M-League, which kicked-off last week, was spared from such activities.
“We are in the middle of these inquiries now. We haven’t looked at the M-league for a while. Just look at the names of (match-fixers) those arrested in Australia and England. These guys use each other names and even passports from time to time.”
“You have had the self-destruction of several Singapore based match-fixing syndicates through infighting over the past two years. These syndicates have Malaysians and Malaysian bested colleagues, runners and opportunity-spotters for instance. These are all pawns of the betting-fraud (while the) kingpins, and almost all, are China nationals, Malaysians or Russians.”
Eaton, had in 2011, said Malaysians were involved in match-fixing scandals in Germany, Finland and Singapore but insisted it did not involve the FA of Malaysia. He was the Fifa Head of Security then.
This prompted the India Football Federation to set up an anti-corruption unit.
Mumbai FC vice president Atul Bagdamia, had early last year, claimed he received a call from a Malaysian, promising the Indian club an all-expenses-paid trip to play friendlies in Malaysia. Bagdamia told Reuters he claimed the Malaysian had also suggested to fix I-League matches.
In 2009, The Malay Mail, in its expose ‘Con Deal?’, revealed the visiting Zimbabwe national team was in fact club side Monomotapa United FC. The Malaysian team, coached by Datuk K. Rajagobal thrashed the visitors 4-0 and 1-0 in two friendly matches at the KLFA Stadium.
Zimbabwe FA chief executive officer Henrietta Rushwaya was sacked while several players and officials were slapped with bans following the fiasco.