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.