KLFA vows to be tough


As seven of its current and former players await to discover their fate over match-fixing allegations today, Kuala Lumpur FA wants to draw a line under this sordid chapter.

With five players from the 2013 squad already banned for life, KLFA warned it would not hesitate to have more players investigated if the situation warrants it.

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) had the KL team under surveillance as early as Jan 18 last year after KL lost their first three Premier League fixtures with a combined score of 12-3.

MACC officials were present at all KL games from that point onwards.

"We knew something was amiss," said KLFA president Datuk Astaman Abdul Aziz at the launch of KLFA Academy's new artificial turf in Desa Melawati yesterday.

"We were not sleeping but we could not shout out to everyone or call a press conference to say something was wrong.

"We asked MACC to come in and allowed the investigation to follow its course. After that they handed their findings over to FAM."

The FA of Malaysia's disciplinary committee will interview the last two of 12 players charged today before announcing its decision on seven of those charged with fixing matches.

KLFA deputy president Datuk George Frederick said he stepped down as team manager last season after seeing the extent of the problem in the KL team which lost 16 of 22 matches and conceded 58 goals before being relegated to the third-tier FAM League.

"I just walked away as a manager," said Dato’ Frederick. "People don't know this but we were suffering all the time as things were going right down the chute.

"I would receive phone calls just before the match with people telling me what the result was going to be. This was just to show that they (bookies) were in control."

Three current KL players -- defender Syazwan Rani and midfielders J. Mughilan Kartik and Benedict Martin -- are among the seven to know their fate today.

The others are former national goalkeeper Azizon Abdul Kadir, Amirul Asyraf Mohd Noor, Azwan Jatin and S. Sivaraj.

"What can we do? They will be dropped. We just have to live with it," said Datuk Astaman when asked what would happen if the three current players were found guilty.

"At least this shows KLFA is serious about this. While the players have been caught, the real perpetrators (bookies) are still out there." - NST


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