And The Gold Medal Award For Football Match Fixing Goes To... Malaysia!

It is certainly hard to argue with the bestselling author's damning verdict when Malaysian football keeps making the headlines for all the wrong reasons.

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“If there was a gold medal for football match fixing, Malaysia would win it,” says Canadian academic, Declan Hill

This is the damning verdict of Declan Hill, the Canadian journalist and academic who has been called the world’s foremost expert on match fixing and whose book, The Fix: Soccer and Organized Crime, is an international bestseller.

Declan Hill, the author of the book The Fix: Soccer And Organized Crime.

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Hill has testified on the issue before the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the British and European parliaments as well as the integrity units of the European Union of Football Associations. He has hard facts to back his claims.

The Fix: Soccer And Organized Crime written by Declan Hill is an international bestseller.

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The Malaysian football scene has become synonymous with match fixing since 1994

Indeed Malaysian football has become synonymous with match fixing since 1994, when 21 players and coaches were sacked, 58 players suspended and 126 players questioned over corruption.

Malaysian football has become a household name for corruption in football since 1994.

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Two decades on, little has changed. In 2012, the Malaysian Football Association (FAM) suspended 18 President Cup players and banned a former Negeri Sembilan coach for life after they were found guilty of fixing matches.

Among the 18 players and 1 coach who got banned in 2012.

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Last year in 2013, five Kuala Lumpur players and three officials were slapped with life bans and 17 others were fined after FAM found them guilty on match fixing charges. A few months before that scandal, the Perak FA suspended its entire team for two weeks on suspicion of match fixing after they lost heavily in several matches.

One of the ex-KL football players at Wisma FAM for the match-fixing hearing which found 17 more players guilty of the offence in 2013.

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According to Hill, match fixing has been spreading like cancer since the 1994 disgrace

“Malaysian match-fixers were not stopped in 1994. They decided to keep local fixing under the radar and spread their activities throughout the world [instead], where the profit was much more lucrative."

Corruption has been spreading like cancer since the 1994 case.

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“In 1994, we barely had the Internet. There was hardly any live coverage of European football and this was a massive change in Malaysian and Singaporean society. And so, gradually, Malaysians identified something that the rest of the world was just waking up to, which was globalisation."

Deals were made to players, officials, coaches and team owners to fix the games.

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"These people were really intelligent businessmen. They started to send their people around the world, proposing deals to dubious players, coaches and team owners to fix the games in their leagues," added Hill.

“These Malaysians would propose the following to local fixers: ‘You fix the local game, and we’ll fix it on the Asian gambling market.’ These deals were simply irresistible."

“With this kind of money, more people could be bought and so it became a pattern.They could make 10 times the profit because there was demand for it on the Asian gambling market," he said.

“These Malaysians would propose the following to local fixers: ‘You fix the local game, and we’ll fix it on the Asian gambling market,’

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Hill claimed Malaysians have certainly become a household name on the match fixing market, having traces in Greece, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Belgium, Italy and also Germany.

Football match fixing issue has been traced all around the globe.

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Is there any way to stop this organised crime? Declan Hill thinks there is.

“A special, independent unit needs to be formed to crack and clean this phenomenon. Pressure must be put on the Malaysian officials, and pressure has to come from men like me."

Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) have to take serious measures in battling against football match fixing issues.

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“There is an expectation of corruption in Malaysian football amongst the fans, players, coaches and officials, because there is a bigger fish involved in this. So that is why an elite task force has to be formed, and they must have the guts to go after these fixers,” he explained.

He suggests that Malaysia be banned from participating in any international sports events like the Olympics

“As I have testified before various parliaments, we have to tell the IOC that if Malaysia doesn’t clean up this problem, they will be banned from international sports."

Malaysia can be banned from any international sports events due to this corruption.

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"Not being able to participate in the Olympics, for instance, would be a damaging blow to the country’s pride. So it may be just be the tonic for them to get down to the root of this problem,” said Hill.

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