FIFA probes Malaysians over global fixing

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Officials from football’s ruling body FIFA are expected to arrive in Malaysia next week as part of its global crackdown into match-fixing on three continents, a report said Tuesday. “We wrote to FIFA over the allegedly match-fixing scandal last week after reading about it,” Azzuddin Ahmad, general secretary of the Football Federation of Malaysia (FAM) was quoted as saying by the New Straits Times newspaper.
“We will… assist FIFA in whatever way possible,” he added. FIFA is investigating claims that over 300 matches on three continents were influenced by match-fixers. The report said FIFA’s full investigation into match-fixing has led to two Malaysians, adding that Chris Eaton, FIFA’s head of security, will lead a team of investigators to interview several people here. Employees from at least six different national football associations are under suspicion of assisting the criminal network, which is thought to work out of Singapore and Malaysia.
FIFA suspects match officials were paid as little as $10,000 to help engineer specific results in international friendly matches and European club games, netting fixers hundreds of millions of dollars on Asian betting markets. “The threat from match-fixing to the integrity of the global game is significant,” Eaton, a former Interpol official said last week. FIFA fear the upcoming under-17 and under-20 World Championships are at risk.
The newspaper said FIFA would also investigate two Malaysia-Zimbabwe friendly matches played in 2009. Malaysia won both matches but FIFA subsequently revoked the status of the games after it was determined that a Zimbabwean club side had taken the field rather than the national team.