Australian charged with Singapore match-fixing

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An Australian player went on trial in Singapore yesterday over three charges related to allegedly fixing matches. The prosecution's main witness, Sivakumar Madasamy, told the court that he had raised thousands of Singapore dollars for Mirko "Miki" Jurilj and a German player from another local club to bet on games.

An Australian player went on trial in Singapore yesterday over three charges related to allegedly fixing matches. The prosecution's main witness, Sivakumar Madasamy, told the court that he had raised thousands of Singapore dollars for Mirko "Miki" Jurilj and a German player from another local club to bet on games.

Madasamy, a self-employed golf instructor, said he placed bets for the two players and that they had agreed to fix games in order to win the money. He said he raised the money for the players at their request and that they had said they would pay him back. "Mirko even told me he would even concede a penalty or try to kick the ball in his own net," Madasamy told the court.

Jurilj, 26, and Lutz Pfannenstiel, a 27-year-old German, play for different district teams in Singapore's S-League. Jurilj plays for Sembawang Rangers and Pfannenstiel for Geylang United. Jurilj, who said he grew up in Sydney but that his parents were from Croatia, seemed relaxed and talked with friends outside the courtroom, including Pfannenstiel, before the trial. The German player has also been accused of match fixing and will be tried in court later this month.

Jurilj is charged with agreeing to accept payments of up to 10,000 Singapore dollars (£4,100) for three separate matches involving his club, while Pfannenstiel is charged with agreeing to accept payments of up to S$7,000 to influence the outcomes of three matches involving his club.

During testimony yesterday Madasamy said that after placing S$16,000 on a match in June, the players failed to fix it properly and lost all their money. He said he placed part of the money on an "8 or 9" bet, which means the total final score would have to add up to eight or nine. And to be safe he said they decided to place some money on a "two-and-a-half" bet, which meant Geylang would have to win by two or more goals.

Madasamy told the court he had bet S$7,000 for each of the foreign players and S$3,000 for himself. The final score of the match was 2-1 and they had lost all their money, he said.

Both Jurilj and Pfannenstiel have been released on bail of S$100,000 each. Jurilj said their passports were also being held by the authorities. If convicted, the players face fines of S$100,000 and prison terms of up to five years each.

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