Asian Games: Governing bodies aware of match-fixing allegations

Asian Games: Governing bodies aware of match-fixing allegations

Fifa and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) are aware of the match-fixing suspicions at the Asian Games and are monitoring the situation, The New Paper has learnt.

In response to queries by TNP, AFC said it was not in a position to respond to the questions "as the Asian Games, including the football competition, is under the purview of the Olympic Council of Asia".

Mr Andreas Krannich, Sportradar's managing director of strategy and integrity, told TNP that AFC, which helps to run the Asian Games football tournament, has been "extremely proactive in their approach to stamping out match fixing".

Through those who are privy to the allegations, TNP has learnt that Fifa and AFC are monitoring the situation through their respective integrity units and match-review panels, which look out for suspicious incidents.

Replying to TNP's queries, Fifa said that it could not confirm whether investigations into match fixing were underway so as not to compromise any possible investigations.

"The integrity of the game is a top priority for Fifa and we take any allegations of match manipulation very seriously," it added.

EVIDENCE?

A source said that action could not be taken against teams based on suspicions and allegations, but only when there is clear evidence.

When asked about the win over Laos, Malaysian Under-23 coach Ong Kim Swee said that he had not noticed anything suspicious.

On Laos leaking late goals, he told TNP: "I believe their fitness and physical condition is one aspect you have to look at."

He said the Laos team had arrived just a day before their first match against Saudi Arabia and they had little rest because of some accreditation issues.

"I watched the match against Saudi and they were doing well, but you have to say (because of the previous day's incident) that fatigue would well be a factor," Ong added.

"In our game, we needed to push the players to get more goals than what Saudi got against them and I didn't notice anything strange. But I don't look at aspects besides what my team have to do."

Laos Football Association general secretary Xaybandith Rasphone said he did not know of any foul play.

"As far as I know, we have not heard anything (regarding suspicious play)," he said.

"We lost by just 2-0 to South Korea, who are a strong team, and the players tried their best to compete."


This article was first published on Sep 25, 2014.
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