Several coaches have alleged that the M-League was totally controlled by match-fixing syndicates and that it was now in a “state of beyond salvation”.
Some even claimed that youth footballers, who have been identified as future stars, were also being targeted by bookies.
“The Super League, the Premier League, the FAM Cup… right down to the President’s Cup and Youth Cup are controlled by fixers.
“Bookies are smart. They use the ‘scout’ method to identify potential youngsters. From there, the fixers will approach them and entice them to fix matches.
“The players are controlled by bookies until they retire.
“This is the reason match-fixing is tough to eradicate. The problem now is worse than in the 1990s.
“Our authorities are doing their best to stop this menace but I think they are focusing too much on the M-League.
“They should go to football academies and sports schools, and educate the youngsters about match-fixing.
“Fixers do not only focus on the professional league,” said a coach, who had led his team to several successes in recent years.
Another coach claimed that almost all senior players in the M-League have been approached by bookies.
“Despite all the initiatives, match-fixing is prevalent and most of the senior players in the league, I believe, have dealt with match fixers at least once in their careers.
“Coaches, officials and all those in the fraternity know the identities of the bookies and also the players involved with fixers. But they can’t do anything about it.
“When I was with a former team, we wanted every player in the squad to have no history of match-fixing.
“We screened everyone and those suspected of fixing matches were not picked.
“It turned out to be a good move as we recorded decent results and also won trophies,” said the coach.
Another coach disclosed that some teams have hired players associated with bookies to ensure success.
“Several years ago, a team hired a high profile player known for fixing matches.
“He promised the management the league title but told them he will do it on his own terms.
“The entire team was controlled by this player.
“It turned out to be quite a good season for the club as they won the Super League but failed in other competitions,” he said.
A disgruntled coach also alleged that last year’s FAM Cup competition was also fixed to suit certain teams.
The arrests of four players and a bookie for alleged match-fixing rocked the M-League early this month following an investigation by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on MISC-Mifa.
The investigation on MISC-Mifa has grabbed international attention.
It is learnt that match-fixing expert Declan Hill, the author of The Fix: Organised Crime and Soccer, is following the case.
Under newly elected FAM president Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim, the national body is working closely with MACC and other bodies to fight match-fixing. – NST