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Three players held over match-fixing in Malaysia

Three footballers have been detained in the latest suspected match-fixing scandal to hit Malaysia, officials said on Thursday.PHOTO/courtesy

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, Apr 6 – Three footballers have been detained in the latest suspected match-fixing scandal to hit Malaysia, officials said on Thursday.

The three, who play for the second-tier Malaysian Indian Football Association (MIFA) club, are being held by Malaysia’s anti-corruption watchdog.

“MIFA came to know of the possibility of some of our players being influenced by external forces to determine the outcome of matches,” club president T. Mohan said in a statement.

The three — a defender, goalkeeper and midfielder — were detained after the team lost six of its last nine matches, including defeats of 7-1 and 6-3.

Mohan said the players, who include one foreigner, have been remanded for seven days by the anti-corruption agency.

“MIFA does not condone any practices of match manipulation by anyone under the patronage of MIFA which goes against the rule of integrity and transparency,” he said.

Malaysian football has been plagued by match-fixing over the years, and betting syndicates from the country have also been active overseas.

In one of the biggest cases, a 1994 scandal in Malaysia saw 21 players and coaches sacked and 58 players suspended.

In 1999, four men linked to a Malaysian-based betting syndicate were jailed for three years for plotting to sabotage floodlights ahead of Charlton’s match against Liverpool that year as part of a match-fixing plot.

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In 2012, the Football Association of Malaysia suspended 18 youth players and banned a coach for life for match-fixing.

The following year, a Malaysian club suspended all of its coaches and officials after a string of suspiciously heavy defeats.

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