Czech brothers join list of suspects in Malaysia

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The Independent Online
Two more names were added to Malaysia's match-fixing scandal yesterday, with police seeking to question the Czech nationals and brothers, Miroslav and Robert Bozik.

The brothers played for Negri Sembilan state, Misoslav from 1990-93 and Robert from 1991-94. Police said both have returned to the Czech Republic and Interpol may be asked for help in making them available for questioning.

Eighty-eight people have been arrested in the scandal, many of whom have been released. Earlier this month, eight players and a coach were ordered into internal exile for accepting bribes to throw matches in the 16-team Malaysian league.

Twenty-two players are accused of accepting bribes and another 48 have confessed to having received bribes, but police say they do not have enough evidence to recommend exile. Negri Sembilan have had most players detained in the investigation.

Singapore, meanwhile, has pulled out of Malaysia's football league amid allegations from Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian capital, that the city state was not doing enough to stem corruption in the sport.

"The Football Association of Singapore has taken this decision after carefully reviewing the events which took place recently and also in the longer term interest of soccer in Singapore," the FAS President, Ibrahim Othman, said.

Ibrahim said the withdrawal would allow Singapore to concentrate on its own revamped league, scheduled for kick-off next year. He denied that the decision was linked to the Football Association of Malaysia's claim that Singapore was not serious in checking match-fixing.

The FAM had announced recently that it was putting Singapore's participation in the Malaysia Cup league on hold because of alleged inaction against match-fixing. It has stated that most of the match-fixing charges involved games against the Singapore side.

In Singapore, a former international player and a club manager are facing match-fixing charges. They are alleged to have received a total of 145,000 Singapore dollars (£62,000) from a bookmaker.

Another Czech-born player, Michael Vana, a Singapore squad regular, fled home in September while on bail awaiting trial for allegedly accepting S$375,000 to influence the outcome of football matches. A month later a local referee, Thiru Rajamanickam, who is registered with Fifa, was jailed for eight months for accepting a bribe of S$1,000.

Earlier this month, Singapore's Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau questioned Singapore's attacking midfielder, Abbas Saad, and impounded his passport.

In Italy, Carlo Giacominelli, a 31-year-old from Milan, has been arrested in connection with the fight which led to a Genoa supporter being stabbed to death before a match last month, judicial officials said yesterday.

Giacominelli was charged with a public order offence and detained in Genoa. Vincenzo Spagnolo, a Genoa fan, was killed in the fight before the match betwen Genoa and the Italian champions, Milan, on 29 January.

A Milan fan, Simone Barbaglia, was later arrested for murder. Giacominelli was suspected of having been one of the ringleaders in the fight. The death sparked off street riots and caused all professional sporting fixtures in Italy to be called off due to official mourning the following weekend.