Over 70 players implicated in the infamous 1994 Malaysia match-fixing scandal have been given a new lease of life after the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) allowed their appeal, opening the door to a re-entry to professional football.
Over 100 players and officials were implicated in the scandal that rocked Malaysian football in the mid-1990s, but 73 of them are now free to return to football with a further six – who were banned for life – still awaiting their fate.
We will write to (FIFA) about it before deciding on the remaining six who have appealed
In 1994, a nationwide crackdown on match-fixing left 21 players and coaches sacked, 58 players suspended and 126 players facing questions over corruption. Among those involved included Malek Rahman, Matlan Marjan and Azizol Abu Hanafiah.
The arrests and punishments came under a law known as ‘Emergency Ordinance’, where players could be arrested and banished if suspected of fixing matches. That law has since been repealed.
The list of those who can now be active in football nationwide once more wasn’t provided at the FAM executive committee press conference.
FourFourTwo understands Malek is among those who have previously appealed to FAM, while Matlan is among the six that are still awaiting a decision.
“Those who can now return never received lifetime bans. They were given a sporting sanction by FAM after they were banished to remote areas as part of a Restricted Residence. They have already returned to football at state level and grassroots some years back but remained suspended on a national front,” said FAM vice-president Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan.
FAM general-secretary Datuk Hamidin Amin, meanwhile, stated: “The integrity committee presented their case and it included reports from the anti-corruption agency, police, AFC and FIFA.”
FAM will write to FIFA in regards to the definition of ‘lifetime’ in a bid to lift the ban on six lifetime sentences imposed over 20 years ago.
“The Criminal Justice Act 1953 defines lifetime as 20 years. FIFA does not define a duration for lifetime and we will write to them about it before deciding on the remaining six who have appealed,” Takiyuddin added.comments