The Football Association of Singapore will press on with the effort to stamp out the match-fixing menace in the sport. "The situation is well under control," said FAS general secretary John Koh, amid reports of match-fixing attempts, including one involving a Singapore-Malaysia friendly match last year. "Indeed over the few years, we have intensified our efforts, for example, by introducing random poligraph tests for S-League players in 2001 to deter match-fixing," he said in a letter published in the forum section of the Straits Times.
A local tabloid, Today, had been reporting alleged match-fixing attempts in the local league including one involving the Singapore-Malaysia match last year which Singapore lost 0-2. National goalkeeper Shahril Jantan had reportedly alleged that a former S-League coach had approached him to fix the friendly match which was played at the Cheras Stadium.
There was also a report about a goalkeeper from a local S-League team Paya Lebar, Zulkifli Zainolabidin, being approached by a former club official to fix an S-League match in the ongoing season.
Koh said the two cases were under investigation. "We believe that they are isolated incidents. As in any investigation, expecially when corruption may be involved, we should let our law enforcement agencies do their work," he said. FAS, he said, shared the concerns on the peril of match-fixing and the damage it could inflict on the development the football league in Singapore.
"The spectre of match-fixing is not exclusive to Singapore football. It haunts every major league but in Singapore we tackle this scourge seriously," he added. Football betting has been legal in Singapore since 1999.