KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 16 – Investigations into a match-fixing allegation involving a Malaysian bookie and two Danish shuttlers will be handled by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) starting from today.
Bukit Aman Anti-Vice, Gaming and Secret Societies Division (D7) principal assistant director Senior Assistant Commissioner Roslee Chik told the New Straits Times yesterday that the case, which had been brought to the police’s attention following a report lodged by the Badminton World Federation (BWF) on July 4, would be handled by the anti-graft body. This, he said, was because the case had elements of corruption.
“The report was lodged by BWF’s senior official after two of Denmark’s shuttlers filed their complaints to the federation. “Just like football match-fixing, the case involves corrupt practices. We have prepared a letter to hand over the investigation to MACC. It will be referred to the commission tomorrow (today),” he said, declining to elaborate further. MACC director of investigation Datuk Mohd Jamidan Abdullah said the commission would investigate the case thoroughly once the police had handed over the case.
The Danish Broadcasting Corporation (DR) had, on Monday, reported that two of Denmark’s leading players, Hans-Kristian Vittinghus and Kim Astrup, had told BWF that they had been approached by a Malaysian man through Facebook just before the Japan Open in June in an apparent attempt at match-fixing. It was reported that world No. 9 Vittinghus and doubles specialist Astrup were allegedly offered €2,500 (RM10,348) and €3,000, respectively, by the bookie.
Astrup revealed to DR that the Malaysian man had claimed that he had fixed matches in the Thomas Cup and Singapore Open, previously. In responding to the allegation, BWF president Poul-Erik Hoyer Larsen said he viewed the matter seriously as the match-fixing allegation involved prestigious matches, including the Thomas Cup and Singapore Open.
“It is, of course, deeply worrying if match-fixing can take place at those levels because then, there is a risk that it can also happen at other levels. We may have just seen the tip of it,” he told DR on Tuesday. DR reported that it had interviewed the match-fixer in two separate conversations. In the first conversation, the suspect said he had contacted the two players, while in the second conversation, he denied his involvement in match-fixing.