Two Malaysian football matches red-flagged over possible match-fixing

The FA of Malaysia (FAM) integrity committee is investigating claims that at least two football matches were fixed.

The committee’s deputy chairman, Tan Sri Azam Baki, said a probe was being carried out following reports received by the committee.

“We met last month. We have received reports (of alleged match-fixing) and are looking into two matches. I can’t reveal the teams and the details of the matches,” said Azam, when met at Stadium Juara in Bukit Jalil, this morning.

“It’s best to speak to the chairman,” added Azam, who is also the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission chief commissioner.

The committee’s chairman, Tan Sri Aseh Che Mat, however, declined to comment.

It remained unclear if more matches could be compromised.

The M-League was held this season despite concerns over the Covid-19 pandemic. Following the economic downturn and poor management, several footballers did not receive their wages, in what has been described as an annual occurrence, despite the domestic league now being run professionally.

The Malaysia Cup is ongoing with the second semi-finals scheduled tomorrow night. Johor Darul Ta’zim will host Terengganu FC, while Kuala Lumpur City FC will head to Melaka to face Melaka United FC. The first semi-finals matches saw teams being tied with 1-1 draws.

FAM’s former secretary-general Stuart Ramalingam, in April last year, said there had only been two warnings of matches being fixed since 2018, but “were later written off”.

In 2018, two players from Sarawak, and an alleged bookmaker, were nabbed on suspicion of match-fixing, following Sarawak’s 3-2 defeat against Felcra FC in a Premier League match. They were later freed due to lack of evidence.

The Malaysian football scene was rocked by match-fixing in the early 90s with scores of footballers and coaches banned, or suspended.