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Football: FAM to probe fake Malaysia match against LA Galaxy – The Straits Times

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 Major League Soccer (MLS) side Los Angeles 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 What a Lad.
LA Galaxy believed they had won the friendly match legitimately – it is not known when the game took place – but the 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 said, as quoted by the NST.
“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 warm-up for the 2023 Asian Cup in Qatar, which is likely to be held in early 2024.
“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 added that the match-fixers made “millions” when they punted the match on the black market for five or more goals. The money they earned covered all their expenses.
There were similar match-fixing incidents involving 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 Singaporean 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 also conducted an internal probe after it was alleged that the match was fixed.
In 2015, the FAM denied any contact with former African champions Ghana following news that there was a two-legged friendly match to be played between both sides.
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MCI (P) 076/10/2022, MCI (P) 077/10/2022. Published by SPH Media Limited, Co. Regn. No. 202120748H. Copyright © 2022 SPH Media Limited. All rights reserved.

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