World's most prolific match-fixer claims Malaysian football is clean

SINGAPORE: "Right now, I think Malaysian football is at its best. It is very clean, the movement of the odds in the M-League is stable," Wilson Raj Perumal, the man dubbed the most notorious football match-fixer in the world told Channel NewsAsia today.

According to Channel NewsAsia, Perumal had plenty to say, however, about recent comments made by renowned match-fixing investigator Chris Eaton, who was FIFA's security head when the Singaporean was brought to justice in 2011.

On Nov 8, it was reported that Malaysia had overtaken Singapore as the hub for sports match-fixing in Southeast Asia following a crackdown in the city-state.

"Malaysia is the epicentre of trade for Southeast Asia," Eaton had reportedly said.

He said Singapore had managed to break up some football match-fixing syndicates although he added some remained working in "close association" with syndicates in Malaysia.

"Match-fixing is not only taking place in Southeast Asia. It is also rife in Russia, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia. The FAs (football associations) are busy cleaning the mess.

"Eaton will have to substantiate his accusations against these countries and not make baseless accusations," said Perumal who has an autobiography titled Kelong Kings: Confessions of the world's most prolific match-fixer.

According to Channel NewsAsia, Perumal could be released from house arrest in Hungary and sent home to Singapore in 2017.

The 51-year-old, believed to have rigged up to 100 matches globally, has been based in Budapest since 2012 under a witness protection programme while aiding investigations into widespread corruption in football.

He is a wanted man in his homeland after fleeing abroad to escape a five-year jail term for running over an auxiliary policeman in 2009.

But should he be repatriated to Singapore, Perumal could also face the prospect of detention — a fate met by fellow match-fixer Dan Tan Seet Eng, who has been held since October 2013 under the Criminal Law (Temporary Provisions) Act, it said.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar had refuted an allegation that Malaysia is the centre of football match-fixing in Southeast Asia, saying no concrete evidence has ever been received.

He said the police force was part of the integrity committee set up by the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM), adding that it has taken active measures to prevent corruption and match-fixing in the sport.

"I wish to emphasize that the Malaysian Police have not received information on such allegations, either from the Federation of International Football Association (Fifa), the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) or any other source," he had said.

He added that he welcomed any information that could shed light on the alleged rampant corruption in the sport, but stressed that it must be backed by credible and tangible proof. — Bernama