FAM to probe fake Malaysia match against LA Galaxy
KUALA LUMPUR – The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) is investigating a case of fraud in which a group of players posed as the Malaysian national team and lost to the US Major League Soccer side LA Galaxy – a match that was said to be fixed.
The incident, reported by the New Straits Times, was first revealed by a football pundit, Mark Stafford, on his podcast.
LA Galaxy believed they had won the friendly match legitimately – it is not known when the game took place – but FAM has confirmed that Malaysia did not travel to the United States for any match recently.
“It is shocking. We have not had a similar case for the last 10 years,” the association’s secretary-general Noor Azman Rahman was quoted as saying by the New Straits Times.
“Our integrity committee will investigate the contents of the podcast before taking further action.”
According to Stafford, a Malaysian “official” had approached LA Galaxy for a friendly match as a warmup for the 2023 Asian Cup in Qatar.
“The Malaysian team guaranteed all expenses for the stadium and a fee for the LA Galaxy players. The offer was accepted by the US-based club,” said Stafford on his podcast.
“A Malaysian official flew over and went to meet LA Galaxy. A deal was signed, and two months later, the Malaysian team played a friendly with the club. LA Galaxy won 4-1.
“However, it turned out that LA Galaxy did not play against the Malaysian national team. It was a match-fixer and a bunch of players on the take. They wore the Malaysian jersey and flew to LA with a target to see at least five goals in the match.”
Stafford claimed that the match-fixers made “millions” when they punted the match on the black market for five or more goals. The money they earned was said to have covered all their expenses.
There were similar match-fixing incidents that surrounded the FAM and its national team in the past.
In 2009, a fake Zimbabwe national team played Malaysia twice and both matches were sanctioned by world football governing body Fifa.
However, it was later revealed by the Zimbabwe Football Association that the games were organised by convicted match-fixer Wilson Raj Perumal.
Another African side, Lesotho, lost to the Malaysians 5-0 in the same year and the country’s football association conducted an internal probe after it was alleged that the match was fixed.
Get The New Paper on your phone with the free TNP app. Download from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store now