Former S-League player to have citizenship revoked over match-fixing

Nigel Chin
(PHOTO: Facebook / Gaye Alassane)

Former S-League player Gaye Alassane’s Singapore citizenship is due to be revoked over his involvement in an international match-fixing syndicate, said media reports on Thursday (7 December).

A Ministry of Home Affairs news release said a 43-year-old man of African origin was served with a Notice of Proposed Deprivation of Citizenship under Article 133(1) of the Constitution on the same day. It is understood that the man in question is Alassane, who is also 43 years old.

Born in Mali, Alassane started playing football in Singapore in 1994 and has represented several local clubs including Gombak United and Tampines Rovers. He became a Singapore citizen in 2003.

Yahoo News Singapore understands that Alassane was previously married to a former Football Association of Singapore (FAS) receptionist with whom he had two children. The couple have since divorced.

Alassane is also believed to have entered into several partnerships to run football academies in Singapore. One of these businesses, A-Stars Soccer Academy, was founded in 2011. While its Facebook page still exists, a call made to its Peace Centre office found that the business no longer existed there.

Alassane also founded the A-Stars Soccer Academy in 2011 although the business appears to no longer be in operation. (PHOTO: Facebook / A-Stars Soccer Academy)

‘Active and trusted’ member of syndicate

The man mentioned in the MHA release obtained Singapore citizenship through the Family Ties Scheme. At the time, there was no information to suggest that he was involved in any criminal activities.

However, he eventually became an “active and trusted member” of an international match-fixing syndicate that was started in Singapore.

“The individual and his syndicate members used Singapore as a hub to conduct major global match-fixing activities. While a Singapore citizen, the individual conspired with his syndicate members to fix football matches in various countries through corruption of officials and players,” said MHA.

Furthermore, he “entertained and cultivated relationships with foreign nationals in Singapore to draw them into his syndicate’s match-fixing activities” and helped to move bribe monies for his syndicate into Singapore. The person remitted – and even personally couriered – these bribes out from Singapore to facilitate his syndicate’s match-fixing activities.

“The individual’s serious criminal conduct not only undermined the integrity of Singapore’s financial system, but also law and order. Witnesses were afraid of testifying against the individual and his syndicate members in open court for fear of reprisal,” said MHA.

For these reasons, this individual was dealt with under the Criminal Law (Temporary Provisions) Act and is currently subjected to a Police Supervision Order. Since being served, he has 21 days to apply for his case to be referred to a Citizenship Committee of Inquiry (CCOI).

If the individual is deprived of Singapore citizenship, he will be rendered stateless. He will have to stay in Singapore on a Special Pass granted by the Immigrations and Checkpoints Authority.

According to media reports, Alassane was detained without trial in 2013 for his involvement in a global match-fixing syndicate. In his detention order, he was alleged to have acted as a courier or agent to help fix matches in Egypt, South Africa, and Trinidad and Tobago between 2010 and 2011.

He was among a quartet of men detained that year, including alleged match-fixing kingpin Dan Tan. Alassane was reportedly prepared to plead guilty to all the allegations.

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