Kelong King: Everyone has a price

For more than 20 years, he claimed he had influenced matches all over the world.

In his tell-all e-book Kelong Kings, Wilson Raj Perumal bragged about his role in getting teams to throw matches and even to qualify for the World Cup.

Wilson Raj, who is in jail in Finland after his arrest on April 16, insisted that just about everyone has a price.

And so does he, it seems.

He told The New Paper his enemies had betrayed him and he figured he would make a tidy sum from the e-book.

In an e-mail sent to this reporter in mid-March last year, he had said at first: "I have no inclination to write a book (or) make money out of this."

Yet, his views later changed when he learnt about the Amanda Knox case.

In 2007, Ms Knox, then 20, was a suspect in her roommate's murder in Italy. She was convicted of murder and spent four years in jail, but she was acquitted in 2011.

She later wrote her memoir, titled Waiting To Be Heard.

CONTEMPLATING

In late March last year, Wilson Raj e-mailed this reporter: "Amanda Knox got US$4 million (S$5 million) for her book. The b**** is a murderer and a liar, and she becomes a celebrity overnight. I am contemplating to contact a publisher."

Nothing in football was sacred to the man who claimed to love The Beautiful Game.

Not local games, international friendlies, hallowed grounds in England and no, not even the World Cup.

Teams, players and officials were all for sale, judging by the explosive revelations in the convicted match fixer's e-book.

Now, not only is his book going to land him in trouble with his former associates, it seems that the Singapore authorities might be doing some "contacting" of their own.

A Singapore Police Force spokesman said in an e-mail: "The authorities are aware of the e-book Kelong Kings allegedly written by Wilson Raj Perumal.

"We will be looking into the matter and will take appropriate actions where necessary."

The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) told The New Paper yesterday that it will continue to "work closely with the relevant authorities, both at the domestic and international levels", to combat match fixing.

The FAS spokesman said: "We urge anyone with evidence to step forward and present the information to the authorities as close cooperation and concerted efforts by all parties will go a long way in combatting the threat of match fixing."

It is unclear what the share of Wilson Raj's cut for Kelong Kings is.

Trail of bribes

2008 INTER CONTINENTAL CUP

Held in Kuala Lumpur, the Inter Continental Cup featured Under-23 national Olympic matches.

Wilson Raj Perumal had allegedly influenced the Togo team. He claimed he had $70,000 riding on the results of the match but things did not go as planned.

So he hatched a plan.

With under 30 minutes to the final whistle, two Togolese players were given red cards. Three more Togolese players feigned head injuries and had to be stretchered out.

Wilson Raj said: "With only six Togolese players remaining on the pitch, the referee called off the match and I got my money back."

2010 WORLD CUP QUALIFIERS

Wilson Raj claimed he was instrumental in boosting Nigeria's foray into the 2010 World Cup in South Africa in exchange for freedom in organising warm-up matches and a cut of the funds for hosting a training camp.

He claimed he paid the Mozambique FA $100,000 to fend off Tunisia with a draw.

He said: "My plan had worked and I was the unsung hero of Nigeria's qualification to the final rounds of the 2010 Fifa World Cup in South Africa. I got two teams to qualify for the World Cup but I could not tell anyone."

He claimed the other team was Honduras.

2006 S.LEAGUE MATCHES

Two S.League footballers were named as conduits for Wilson Raj and his accomplice's kelong plans. They were offered between $6,000 and $7,000 each to throw a match.

The arrangement worked on up to five occasions, Wilson Raj said in his book. The perpetrators were never arrested.

EPL MATCHES

Wilson Raj suggested to kelong kingpin Rajendran "Pal" Kurusamy to turn off stadium floodlights to stop matches.

Asian betting houses were still willing to pay according to the standing score before the match was stopped.

Unfortunately, in 1997, a national footballer had taken Wilson's idea and sold it to a Malaysian syndicate. He was allegedly paid $1 million.

Premier league matches - Derby v Wimbledon, West Ham v Crystal Palace and Wimbledon v Arsenal - surprisingly suffered blackouts.

Members of the Malaysian syndicate and a local British accomplice were later arrested by UK cops.

zaihan@sph.com.sg

This article was published on April 30 in The New Paper.Get The New Paper for more stories.