Life bans handed out in Malaysia match-fixing case

Kuala Lumpur: Five players and three team officials from a Malaysian lower league soccer club have been handed life bans after being found guilty of match-fixing, local media reported.

The eight who represented Kuala Lumpur were also fined 20,000 Malaysian Ringgit by the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) who will hold a disciplinary hearing on Friday for seven more players from the club, the Malaysia Star reported.

The paper said coach Stanislav Lieskovsky, assistant manager Rosli Omar and kitman Shaari Jani were the officials disciplined with the Slovak manager having already returned home to Europe in July.

The five Malaysian players named were 29-year-old defender Jeremy Danker, 28-year-old right back Hafizi Roslee, 26-year-old centreback Fadhulah Yunsiar, 31-year-old midfielder Khairul Anuar and 22-year-old goalkeeper Phoo Kai Lun.

The paper did not say which games had been fixed. The three-times Malaysia Cup winners have suffered back-to-back relegations from the top-flight and will compete in the third tier next year.

Hafizi had been charged by the FAM disciplinary committee in September and suspended for six months after `failing to play to a level that is considered satisfactory` in a 5-0 league loss to Sime Darby in May.

He was the first player to be charged under the unsporting behaviour law by the FAM after he was adjudged to have acted unprofessionally by `giving` the ball to an opponent.

Banners with the words `Bookie detected` were seen at the match which was investigated by local police.

Malaysia, like much of Southeast Asia, has fought a long battle with match-fixing in sport with poorly paid players and officials routinely punished for wrongdoing.

The FAM said last month they were considering employing Sportradar, the Swiss-based supplier of sports and betting-related data, to help detect rigging in top-flight matches.

Sportsradar were employed by the Asian Football Confederation to monitor their matches last month after proving instrumental in unearthing a match-fixing syndicate in Australia, which led to four players and one official being banned by world governing body FIFA.

Kuala Lumpur FA (KLFA) president Astaman Abdul Aziz said he hoped all stakeholders in Malaysian football would continue to strive to clean up the local game.

"We will provide any form of assistance to the relevant authorities to fight corruption. We want the game to be clear of this disease," said Astaman.