Saturday, May 26, 2012
A major clean-up
Shokri Nor, one of the nation's most experienced referees, allegedly schemed with former national player S. Thanasegar in Penang to fix the Lions XII-Sarawak match.
Yet how was the 47-year old policeman arrested in Singapore?
While I don't wish to question whether or not the Singapore authorities were unethical or whether or not the area of jurisdiction was observed, the FA of Malaysia must react accordingly.
What has happened to Osman Bakar's investigation unit set up under FAM's auspices to help combat match-fixing? Read Haresh Deol's posting here
Rightfully FAM must probe further and send Osman to speak to Shokri as part of Malaysia's parallel investigation into the allegation.
FAM cannot leave Shokri to fend for himself. Dispatch a Malaysian legal team that is licensed to practise in Singapore to ensure that he gets a fair hearing. After all one is innocent until proven guilty.
In the mean time, FAM cannot be waiting for the outcome of the trial which may take months and years without conducting a proper investigation from all directions.
FAM must establish a committee comprising ex-internationals who could read a game and identify potential "kelong" suspects.
Osman must be given the necessary help to ease his burden.
Remember nine Perlis players were reportedly offered up to RM100,000 (S$41,600) each by a bookmaker before a Premier League match which their team lost 2-7 to Muar Municipal Council? Also 11 players from the Negeri Sembilan President's Cup team were suspended between one and five years for their part in match-fixing last year, while their coach was banned for life?
The wisdom behind the decision to invite Singapore back into the fold, considering the fact FA of Malaysia (FAM) gave them the boot in 1995 due to the sole reason that Singapore was a major betting hub, remains questionable. Recall what Peter Velappan said last year here
Refer to my question at 3:42 on Dengan Izin.
But Singapore or no, our football needs a major clean-up. If the cleaning up requires the eradication of illegal betting syndicate, so be it.