Match fixing investigation will be 'proper and full'

Match fixing investigation will be 'proper and full'
Screengrab of the telecast of the Malaysia- Laos match in Incheon.

The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) will investigate allegations of match fixing in the Under-23 football tournament of the 17th Asian Games.

The OCA, the governing body of sports in Asia, said this in a statement yesterday following The New Paper's report that a few matches with late goals could have been compromised.

News agency AFP quoted an OCA official as saying that the council took the matter seriously and was working with the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and world football governing body Fifa for "a proper and full investigation".

Sportradar, a sports betting analysis company, told TNP that betting patterns and the late goals in some matches have raised suspicions of match fixing.

Mr Andreas Krannich, Sportradar's managing director of strategy and integrity, said in an exclusive e-mail interview: "We can say that we strongly believe there have been manipulated matches at the Asian Games.

"For example, on a certain match in this competition, bettors were incredibly confident of a goal being scored in the final minutes."

Sportradar, whose services are contracted to AFC, declined to name the suspect matches or the teams involved. It also remains unclear how much had been wagered on these matches.

The Incheon Asian Games Organising Committee (IAGOC) said that it "has not received any reports of match fixing".

FAIR GAMES

The IAGOC's press relations bureau director, Mr Park Dal Hwa, said: "The committee has stated repeatedly that it will do its best to ensure fair games, and if there are (cases of match fixing), then an official complaint should be filed."

TNP's report has been picked up by overseas media like Yahoo, Bangkok Post, NDTV, The Malay Mail and Times of India.

Seasoned investigator Terry Steans, 59, told TNP yesterday that it is important to find out who is behind the suspected fixes.

The former global investigation coordinator for Fifa said that a betting analysis system would not know "who the fixers are, where they are or when and where they will strike again".

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