KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian football authorities have imposed a lifetime ban on five players and three officials for match-fixing in the domestic league, a senior football official said Saturday.
The eight, who represented Kuala Lumpur, were also slapped with a 20,000 ringgit ($6,084) fine each, part of Football Association of Malaysia’s (FAM) push to fight match-rigging in the Southeast Asian country.
Taufek Abdul Razak, FAM disciplinary committee chairman said another seven players from the same football club will face a disciplinary hearing on Friday.
“It is a deterrent punishment. We are serious in fighting match-fixing,” he told AFP.
“I warn the players — you can fool some people some times but you cannot fool all the people all the time,” he added.
After a dire season the Kuala Lumpur team have been relegated to the third-tier FAM Cup competition next season.
The non-players banned were Slovak coach Stanislav Lieskovsky, assistant manager Rosli Omar and team official Shaari Jani. The Slovak manager had left Malaysia in July.
The five Kuala Lumpur players named were defender Jeremy Danker, right back Hafizi Roslee, centre-back Fadhulah Yunsiar, midfielder Khairul Anuar and goalkeeper Phoo Kai Lun.
Fears of match-rigging surfaced in May last year, particularly during the second-tier Malaysian Premier League match between Kuala Lumpur and Sime Darby.
Angry fans waved banners with slogans such as “Bookie detected” and “Bookie 5 - Fans 0”, at the start of the match.
The final result was a shock because Sime Darby won 5-0.
Allegations of match-fixing have long tainted football in Malaysia, which last February hosted an international meeting on the problem.
In 2012, FAM suspended 18 youth players and banned a coach for life for fixing matches.
Back in 1994, 21 players and coaches were sacked, 58 players were suspended and 126 players questioned over corruption.