FAM demand evidence after fixing claims from ex-FIFA security boss

The FA of Malaysia (FAM) have reacted strongly to allegations made by former FIFA security chief Chris Eaton that the country had become a match-fixing hub in Southeast Asia.

Eaton was quoted by Singapore Straits Times as saying "Malaysia is the epicentere" of illegal football manipulation at a conference at Marina Bay Sands on Monday.

The independent sports integrity advisor went on to praise Singapore for being effective in their fight against the problem over the past few years.

FAM, however, reacted angrily to Eaton's comments that suggested the problem had moved over the border.

"It's more professional of Eaton to present his evidence and proof to the Malaysian police for further investigation," FAM secretary general Datuk Hamidin Amin said in a statement.

"In 2012, he also alleged one of our high-ranking officials was involved in match-fixing, but failed to provide evidence, despite a meeting with then-secretary general Datuk Seri Azzuddin Ahmad.

"FAM takes match-fixing seriously. We have an understanding with FIFA, and also the Asian Football Confederation on tackling this issue."

Eaton responded by writing on Twitter that his allegations were on the public record, and that the FAM should "take off the blindfolds".

The biggest recent match-fixing scandal in the country erupted in 2014, after five Kuala Lumpur players were handed life bans and a RM20,000 fine, with their former coach and assistant manager also punished.

In 1994-95, 21 players and coaches were sacked, with 58 suspended, and a further 126 questioned over their involvement with corruption activities. Singapore left Malaysian football around the same time after their own match-fixing scandal.

Eaton is a former police officer from the Australian state of Victoria, who was security advisor to FIFA for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. He is now based in Doha.