22 Dec 2013

Match-fixing life bans in Malaysia

7:21 am on 22 December 2013

Malaysian football authorities have imposed a lifetime ban on five players and three officials for match-fixing in the domestic league.

The eight, who represented Kuala Lumpur, were each slapped with an almost $7,500 fine, while another seven players from the same club face a disciplinary hearing next week.

After a dire season, the Kuala Lumpur team have been relegated to the third-tier competition next season.

Fears of match-rigging surfaced in May last year, particularly during the second-tier Malaysian Premier League match between Kuala Lumpur and Sime Darby.

Angry fans waved banners with slogans such as "Bookie detected" and "Bookie 5 - Fans 0", at the start of the match.

The final result was a shock because Sime Darby won 5-0.

Allegations of match-fixing have long tainted football in Malaysia, which last February hosted an international meeting on the problem.

In 2012, 18 youth players were suspended and a coach banned for life for fixing matches.

In 1994, 21 players and coaches were sacked, 58 players were suspended and 126 players questioned over corruption.