A Legalized betting system is vital to winning the battle
against match-fixing, according to Asian Football Confederation
general secretary Peter Velappan.
With Vietnamese soccer dogged by yet another fixing scandal,
Velappan believes Singapore's approach to organized gambling can
act as an example to its Southeast Asian neighbors.
"We have seen football corruption in countries like Malaysia,
Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam in the past," Velappan said on a
recent visit to Singapore.
"Singapore had also come under the spotlight previously but
they've always been very active in trying to stamp out football
"The AFC are very satisfied with what Singapore is doing to weed
out match-fixing," he told the Today newspaper.
"Other countries are doing their part but Singapore are a good
role model as far as tackling football corruption."
Velappan said he was planning to send Vietnamese Football
Federation (VFF) delegates to Singapore to study the city state's
legalized gambling system.
"It is definitely one way for Vietnam to eliminate illegal
gambling," Velappan told the newspaper.
"From what the police are doing right now, Vietnam are showing
that they are serious about wiping corruption out of their
Last week, Vietnamese police said they had identified the man
behind a match-fixing scandal at last year's Southeast Asian
Ly Quoc Ky is accused of running an underground betting ring
which allegedly paid players to fix the scoreline of Vietnam's
group stage match with Myanmar at the 2005 SEA Games soccer
tournament in the Philippines.
Police said Ky had gone on the run and ignored calls to turn
himself in to face the charges.
He is accused of paying seven players 500 million dong
(US$31,000) each to ensure Vietnam won the game by a single
A slender victory for Vietnam against the much weaker Myanmar
attracted favorable odds, given the country's high scoring record
going into the tournament.
Seven people linked to the match are currently in detention
awaiting trial, six of whom are under house arrest.
(Shanghai Daily September 13, 2006)