PUTRAJAYA: Low salaries and lavish lifestyles may have been the reasons behind the alleged involvement of three players from the Malaysian Indian Sports Council-Malaysian Indian Football Association (MISC-MIFA) in accepting bribes for match fixing.
Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaludin said his views are based on feedback given by Health Minister, Datuk Seri S. Subramaniam, who is also the MIC president, who said the party's football club has neither a huge allocation nor pays high salaries to its players.
"I assume that the club's players were influenced by the lavish lifestyles of other teams' players, and were looking at their high salaries.
"I was also informed that this case might have happened after the club qualified to play in the Premier League this year, and the players began to get attention," Khairy told a press conference after the launching ceremony of the KL2017 Torch Relay here yesterday.
The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) detained three MISC-MIFA players, including a foreign footballer and a scrap metal shop worker, who allegedly acted as the bookie. The trio is believed to have made thousands of ringgit in bribes.
All the suspects are being detained between six and seven days to facilitate investigations under Section 16(a)(A) of the MACC Act 2009.
Congratulating the MACC for the arrest, Khairy said he is confident that both MIFA and the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) will give their full cooperation to the MACC and the police over the case.
"Let this be a lesson to any player or team... I am confident that only legal action will overcome bribery or the bookie issue," he added. -- BERNAMA