KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian football authorities on Wednesday called on a former FIFA official to provide evidence after he claimed the country had become the hub for match-fixing in Southeast Asia.
Chris Eaton, an independent industry consultant and FIFA’s former security chief, said Tuesday that Malaysia had overtaken Singapore in match-fixing following a crackdown in the city-state.
Eaton was speaking at a sports betting forum in Singapore on Monday.
“We urge Eaton to furnish us with evidence,” Hamidin Amin, the secretary-general of the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM), told AFP.
Hamidin also said Eaton should be “more professional” by providing evidence and information to authorities in Malaysia, adding that Eaton had made similar allegations before without substantiation.
Malaysia’s top police official Khalid Abu Bakar said on Tuesday that authorities had received no information related to Eaton’s allegation, either from FIFA or the Asian Football Confederation.
Malaysian football, however, has been plagued by match-fixing over the years, and betting syndicates from the country have also been active overseas.
In one of the biggest cases, a 1994 scandal in Malaysia saw 21 players and coaches sacked and 58 players suspended.
In 1999, four men linked to a Malaysian-based betting syndicate were jailed for three years for plotting to sabotage floodlights ahead of Charlton’s match against Liverpool that year as part of a match-fixing plot.
In 2012, FAM suspended 18 youth players and banned a coach for life for match-fixing. The following year, a Malaysian club suspended all of its coaches and officials after a string of suspiciously heavy defeats.