Wednesday, July 17, 2013

FAM gets tough

MINIMISING CORRUPTION: All involved must declare respective assets before new season kicks-off

REFEREES may have to declare their respective assets or risk being sidelined from the M-League from next season onwards.

This comes after FA of Malaysia (FAM) integrity committee chairman Tan Sri Aseh Che Mat had disclosed on Monday that players (local and foreign) and officials registered with teams in the Super League, Premier League and FAM League will have to declare their assets for the new season.
Those who fail to comply will be barred from the league.

The national body hopes the move will minimise corruption in the league.
FAM is taking a tough stand on corruption but is fighting a losing battle against match-fixing as local players, coaches and match officials are hesitant to give evidence.

Presently, the problem is not widespread but it could spread as bookies are now targeting younger players, coaches from lower leagues and match officials.

Although several teams and players were alleged to have been involved in match-fixing this season, no action was taken due to lack of evidence.

FAM banned 18 President's Cup players for two to five years last February while a former Negri Sembilan youth coach was given a life ban for match-fixing last year.

Former Fifa head of security, Chris Eaton, had also claimed that local football administrators were involved in match-fixing but his accusation was not proven.

In February, Interpol highlighted a Timesport article on match-fixing as evidence during a forum in Kuala Lumpur. The article referred to a Premier League player refusing to start a match after allegedly receiving threats from bookies.

Referee Shokri Nor had also tarnished the image of match officials when he was charged in Singapore for accepting a bribe to fix the result of a Super League match last season. He, however, jumped bail and has gone AWOL.

The yet-to-be-endorsed proposal to have referees declare their assets is not a common practice in other nations.

Local match officials have been in the spotlight for poor refereeing in crucial matches which has raised suspicion that some referees could be accepting bribes.
FAM general-secretary Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin said he will propose the idea (for referees to declare their assets) with concerned parties soon.

"We are taking pro-actives measures to minimise match-fixing," said Hamidin, who declined to comment if teams were being investigated for match-fixing.

It is no secret that former Malaysia Cup winners Kuala Lumpur and several other teams are among the second-tier Premier League sides being investigated.

FAM will touch on its 2019 Asian Cup bid, submitted to the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) last month, in its executive council (exco) meeting today.

Bahrain, China, Iran, Lebanon, Oman and the United Arab Emirates are the other bidders.
The AFC is expected to inspect facilities of bidding nations between October and December this year, and will announce the name of the hosts at its Congress on June 14, next year.

Malaysia co-hosted the 2007 Asian Cup with Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam but failed to make an impact, losing all their matches in Group C.

COMPETITIONS committee acting chairman Datuk Afandi Hamzah will present the propose changes to the infamous Article 88 to the exco for approval. It, however, must also be presented to the Congress on Aug 17 for implementation.
The exco will also discuss the proposal to privatise the league in 2015.

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