Wednesday, June 15, 2011

MHF: We called Police to probe

By JJ Shah

THE police have been called in by the Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) to investigate allegations of match-fixing by national players to settle gambling debts as the federation wants no stone unturned to get to the bottom of this ugly disease.
MHF president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah said: "Let the police do their investigations first" before MHF takes the next step.
"That is why I have called in the police. Let the police do their investigations. They are free to call in the players and officials.
" I am serious about the allegations and don't want Malaysia's hockey image to be tarnished by alleged match fixing," Tengku Abdullah said during a press conference on the sidelines of the Asian-Australasian-African Polo Championships in Pekan yesterday.
"No stone will be left unturned in this matter. I have heard of such allegations before but I have no evidence to bring the culprits to book. It has all been hearsay so far.
"So, let the police take over and probe the allegations further.
"Here, we are seriously preparing for the London Olympics (Qualifier) and now you have allegations of match-fixing.
"No doubt we have lost international matches in the dying minutes of a match, but there could be other reasons like lack of match fitness and so on.
"Those guilty will pay the price. We want a clean squad to prepare for the Olympic Qualifier," he warned.
Tengku Abdullah was referring to Timesport's report yesterday that Malaysian hockey has been rocked by allegations of corruption after it emerged that four, and possibly more, national players have allegedly been fixing matches to settle gambling debts.
The players are apparently heavy punters of the much-followed English Premier League (EPL). Some have reported to have lost as much as RM30,000 each and have allegedly fixed international hockey matches by laying heavy bets.
The matter was also discussed during its management committee meeting last week.
The report, quoting a source, said match-fixing has reached an alarming level and national hockey players are reportedly placing bets on certain gambling websites.
It is also said that matches were allegedly fixed during the recent Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh where Malaysia were beaten in four consecutive matches - 3-1 to Britain, 2-1 to Australia, India (5-2) and 3-2 to New Zealand. Malaysia's only win was a 3-1 victory against South Korea.
NST reporter Jugjet Singh, who broke the match-fixing story, received a call from an "ASP Loy" of the police's Gaming and Vice division, to help in the probe.

Match-fixing shocker

Jugjet Singh

HOCKEY has been rocked by allegations of corruption after it emerged that four, and possiblymore, national players have been fixing matches to settle gambling debts.
The players are apparently heavy punters of English Premier League (EPL) matches and after losing as much as RM30,000 each, have allegedly fixed Malaysian international matches and made killings on them by betting.
The Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) suspected something amiss during the recent Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh where the national team, despite dominating play, lost two matches in the last fiveminutes on each occasion.
The MHF has already called in the police and it is learnt an officer from the Anti- Gambling and Vice unit recently met officials from the federation for further information.
The MHF also discussed the matter during its management committee meeting last week.
A source said it was a well-known fact that certain players bet heavily on the EPL and other sports.
“It has, however, reached disturbing levels as the players are getting deeper into debt and when forced to pay, have opted to fix matches involving them and then betting on Malaysia to lose,” said the source.
Odds on international hockey matches are also offered on certain gambling websites and this could be where the players are placing their bets.
An even more alarming situation could be that these players are “forced” to play below par by the syndicates to whom they owe money to.
Thiswon’t only help settle the players’gambling debts but the bookies could make a bigger killing by taking bets from other punters.
The source added that team officials had received information thatmatches were fixed in theAzlan Shah Cup.
Malaysia fell to four consecutive defeats — 3-1 to Britain, 2-1 to Australia, 5-2 to India and 3-2 to New Zealand.
The information was that certain players were playing below par on purpose and team officials issued a warning in the stadium’s changing room just before the match against South Korea.The players responded by beating Korea 3-1.
It is learnt the players have not been dropped yet as MHF is still investigating but it has been made known to all that action will be swift and harsh as MHF is determined to ensure that Malaysia is represented by a clean squad for the 2012 London Olympics Qualifier.

New Straits Times