Malaysia to set up panel to fight football bribery

The Malaysian football federation plans to set up a joint task

force with police to combat match-fixing and bribery after being

stung by playing two friendlies against a fake Zimbabwe national

team two years ago.

Federation general secretary Azzuddin Ahmad said Thursday that

the task force will set up committees in every state to monitor

international and local matches and pursue illegal bookmakers in

the wake of the July 2009 matches.

Malaysia won both friendlies against what turned out to be a

Zimbabwean club side instead of the national team, with FIFA later

revoking the status of the games.

Ahmad says a FIFA investigating team led by security chief Chris

Eaton had ”made it very clear that Malaysia was an innocent

party” in the scandal.

”We are relieved that we have cleared our name but we are now

more alert and are taking preventive measures,” Azzuddin said.

Zimbabwe’s football federation has fired its former chief

executive, Henriatta Rushwaya, and is considering sanctions against

players who have admitted also throwing matches on a tour of

Thailand and Malaysia in December 2009.

Azzuddin said Eaton had given details to police for

investigation of two Malaysians and a Singaporean residing in

Malaysia who are believed to be involved in match-fixing.

FIFA is cracking down on organized crime leaders responsible for

recent corruption in the sport. World football’s governing body has

announced a ?20 million ($29 million) project with Interpol to

fight match-fixing over the next 10 years.

Interpol will host a FIFA anti-corruption center at its new base

in Singapore to train players, referees and officials how to

identify fixing attempts.