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MATCH-FIXING CASE: They allegedly schemed to fix Sarawak-Singapore game in a Penang hotel room
SINGAPORE: REFEREE Shokri Nor and former Kedah player S. Thana Segar were charged here yesterday with abetting to fix the result of Tuesday’s Super League match between Singapore and Sarawak.
Shokri allegedly schemed with Thana Segar in a hotel room in Penang on May 19 where he agreed to a bribe of RM15,000 to fix the result of the match, which the Lions eventually won 3-0.
Both were charged under Section 5(a)(i), read with Section 29(a) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, Chapter 241. If convicted, they could face a maximum jail term of five years or a fine not exceeding S$100,000 (RM240,000) or both.
No plea was recorded. They each posted the S$50,000 (RM120,000) bail and their cases will be heard again on May 31.
The Singapore Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) received information a day before the match about the meeting in Penang and informed the Football Association of Singapore (FAS), which then alerted the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM).
Shokri was replaced by Mohd Tarmizi at the last minute after officials were told about the possible match-fixing.
Shokri, Thana Segar and three other individuals were arrested on Tuesday. A source revealed that Shokri helped CPIB in nabbing the other three.
Several other Malaysian match officials could be involved in match-fixing as a top FAM official, who declined to be named, revealed that the association had been monitoring several referees for the past three months following complaints.
Shokri, 48, was one of the most experienced local match officials, having refereed several important matches, including last year’s Malaysia Cup final where Negri Sembilan were crowned champion.
Thana Segar, 38, meanwhile, was one of the more than 100 local footballers banned for life by FAM in 1994 for match-fixing.
FAM referees committee chairman Datuk Astaman Abdul Aziz said this incident should serve as a lesson to others.
“As far as FAM is concerned, we will come down hard on anyone involved in match-fixing as we are committed to cleaning up our football from graft, if any,” Astaman said.
“A Malaysian referee has been charged with match-fixing.
We take this matter very seriously.
“We will continue to work with the relevant parties to fight illegal activities in football,” FAM said in a statement.
FAS, in a statement, thanked CPIB for their swift action and continued support in the fight against football corruption.
“We will impose permanent suspensions on any player or official convicted of football corruption.”
FAM has been working closely with Fifa, the world football body, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and the police in wiping out graft in football since last year.
In March, FAM banned 18 youth team players for two to five years while a former Negri Sembilan coach was given a life ban.
Six players, each from the 2011 Negri Sembilan, T-Team and Muar Municipal Council Under-21 President’s Cup squads, were found to have been involved in illegal football activities, in connection with three people charged with bribing players last year.
One of the three charged was Yusarman Yusof, the then Negri Under-21 coach, who was given a life ban.
The others were bookies Rajendran Kurusamy, 51, a Singaporean; and Sufian Ngah, 41, who were charged last year with bribing six T-Team players to fix matches against Selangor, Negri and Pahang in the President’s Cup.
Despite the initiatives, football bribery still exists in the M-League.
The Johor FA dropped six President’s Cup players for match-fixing this season while Malacca, which plays in the FAM League, replaced 15 players from its first team during last month’s transfer window.
Referees selected for M-League matches are paid between RM600 and RM1,600 per match. Additionally, they get RM400 in match allowance. They are also paid 70 sen for every kilometre travelled.