2 Singaporeans nabbed for 'match fixing' in Moldova

2 Singaporeans nabbed for 'match fixing' in Moldova
A Singaporean who was among four charged with attempting to fix a South-east Asian (SEA) Games football match last month between Timor Leste and Malaysia was denied bail yesterday.

Two Singaporean men were arrested in Moldova on Saturday for an alleged attempt to fix a match involving the country's national youth football team, according to Moldova-based ProTV Chisinau.

In the report, which was aired on the day of the arrests, the broadcaster claimed that the Singaporeans had tried to bribe Moldovan Football Federation administrators with 50,000 euros (S$75,000) for Moldova's under-21 team to lose their match against the Belgium under-21 team.

The match is a Uefa under-21 championship qualifier scheduled for March 31 in Leuven, Belgium.

The report did not name the men, but said they would be detained for 30 days and that they had been in the eastern European nation for a few months.

ProTV Chisinau reported that the pair had approached the Moldovan Football Federation and offered to arrange friendly matches.

The nation's anti-graft body, the National Anti-Corruption Centre of Moldova (NAC), believes they had plans to rig those matches and bet on the outcomes.

NAC prosecutor Eugen Balan said: "They tried to influence decision-makers from the Moldovan Football Federation to fix under-21 matches in order to win money from gambling."

One of the matches would have been the one against Belgium's under-21 team.

Mr Balan said: "They proposed a bribe of 50,000 euros to lose by three goals."

The Singaporeans have been charged with attempting to fix that match and have been served with arrest warrants for 30 days.

Neither they nor their lawyers wanted to comment on the situation.

When approached by ProTV Chisinau, one of the men's lawyers said: "I do not have to comment. My client instructed me not to say anything."

The report also highlighted that 12 people had been questioned by the Moldovan authorities regarding a match-fixing scheme.

Six of them were detained for 72 hours.

It was unclear if the investigation on the 12 men was tied to the Singaporeans' case.

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