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.