News 1 June 2015

Asian Football Confederation suspends East Timor U23 manager

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has provisionally suspended Orlando Marques Henriques Mendes, manager of the East Timor U23 team, for 30 days after he was detained and charged by Singapore authorities in relation to match-fixing allegations. ‘The suspension follows the receipt of a report from the Singapore SEA Games Organising Committee informing the AFC Disciplinary Committee that the Singapore Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau had detained and charged Mr. Mendes pursuant to the Prevention of Corruption Act (Singapore) for activities relating to match manipulation’, read a 1 June AFC statement.

The Singapore Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) said that it had been monitoring potential match-fixing activities in connection with the football tournament in the South East Asian (SEA) Games, which is being held in Singapore 29 May to 16 June. ‘Acting swiftly on information received, CPIB mounted an operation that spanned from the late hours of the 28th to the early hours of the 29th of May that resulted in the arrests of a Singaporean alleged match- fixer, and several co-conspirators of different nationalities’, read a 29 May CIPB statement. ‘Some members from the Timor Leste [East Timor] SEA Games football team are also assisting the Bureau in its investigations’.

The AFC said that it had opened disciplinary proceedings against Mendes for alleged violations of Articles 21 (bribery) and 25 (integrity of matches and competitions) of the AFC Code of Ethics, and Articles 62 (corruption) and 69 (unlawfully influencing match results of the AFC Disciplinary Code. It can also extend the provisional suspension at the end of the 30-day ban, which expires on 1 July.

According to local reports, the other men arrested included Rajendran Kurusamy, who was jailed for 27 months in 1997 for attempting to bribe players in Singapore’s top division, the S-League. He is a former associate of Wilson Raj Perumal (pictured), who is currently under house arrest in Hungary, where he is assisting authorities with a match-fixing trial. It is understood that those charged also include a former East Timor national team player and an Indonesian national, although none of the arrested have been named by Singapore authorities. It is understood that the men were arrested after attempting to fix East Timor’s 30 May game against Malaysia, which it won 1-0.

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