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.