Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Singapore fines Chow S$50,000 for bribe attempt

The Singaporean goalkeeper asked by former Malaysia coach Chow Kwai Lam to fix a Singapore S.League match said it had been a mistake to attempt to bribe him; Zulkifli Zainolabidin is a former police officer. Chow, 64, was found guilty by a Singapore court last week of offering a bribe to the former Paya Lebar Punggol FC keeper to let the opposition score two or three goals in a June 2005 match. Chow, who received a life ban from football in Singapore and Malaysia, was fined S$50,000 (US$33,050) by the court. "He should have known that I was a former police officer and I would never do things to bring shame to my family," Zulkifli told Today newspaper. "I never meant to cause anyone any problems but it was my duty as a professional footballer and as a police officer to report the matter to the club management." Zulkifli, who now plays for S-League club Balestier Khalsa, said he wanted to put the incident behind him but that he would never be able to fully forget about it.

Judge Jasvender Kaur said a fine was more suitable than a jail term because Chow "was not connected to or involved with any betting or gambling syndicate" and that he "did not place any wager or bet on the game." The judge also took into consideration Chow's long involvement in football and that he had no previous criminal record. Chow and his family were considering an appeal against both the conviction and sentence, their lawyer, Hamidul Haq told AFP.

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