Finland to charge Singapore man with match-fixing

A Singaporean man being held in jail in Finland will be charged
with bribery in a widening match-fixing scandal in the Nordic
country, a prosecutor said Tuesday.

Wilson Raj Perumal, who was arrested in February after arriving
with false identity papers, is suspected of bribing players at
three Finnish clubs in 2008-2011, Maija Mononen from the Lapland
Prosecutor’s Office said.

”He is linked to nine former players from Rovaniemen Palloseura
who are suspected of accepting bribes and two AC Oulu players who
were found guilty of taking bribes,” Mononen.

Mononen declined to give more details about Perumal and the
other cases until charges are formally read in court next
month.

The third Finnish club was not named but the league season
opened this month without three-time champion Tampere, which was
suspended for links to suspected fixers from Singapore. It was
kicked out after Tampere officials acknowledged accepting ?300,000
from a Singaporean company but were unable to explain why they took
the money and claimed they could not trace the company when trying
to return it.

On May 6, a Finnish court convicted two Zambian brothers from AC
Oulu of taking ?50,000 ($72,500) in bribes to influence the outcome
of a game last year. Donewell and Dominic Yobe received suspended
sentences after confessing to playing ”below their normal level”
during a 5-0 loss against TPS.

The Finnish match-fixing investigation began after the arrest of
Perumal, who is believed of having first contacted football players
in Finland in 2008. He is suspected of bribery in at least 10
games, investigators said. If found guilty, Perumal faces a
two-year prison sentence.

FIFA, which has pledged to track down organized crime leaders
responsible for a wave of match-fixing and betting scams in
football, believes Perumal organized an infamous match last
September when a fake Togo team traveled to Bahrain for a friendly
that the unwitting host easily won 3-0.

Perumal also has links to fixing involving Zimbabwe national
team matches played in the Far East.