Miri FA declares stand on integrity

Mohammad Hakimi Man (fifth left) with (from third left) Othman, Ahmad Lai, Muhammad Jubaidi (fourth right), officials and players after the integrity pledge signing ceremony.

MIRI: Miri Division Football Association (Miri FA) is the first in Sarawak to undertake integrity pledge aimed at weeding out corruption and malpractices in Malaysia People’s Football League (LBR) and the sport.

Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) assistant commissioner Othman Anyan commended the association for its initiative to respond to the corruption-free pledge as encouraged by MACC.

“MACC welcomes this commitment in fighting corruption, and it is a testament of their (Miri FA) accountability and integrity,” he said.

He said this at the corruption-free integrity pledge signing ceremony by Miri FA officials and players, in collaboration with MACC, held at Teachers Training Institute here yesterday.

Othman said bribery and corruption has crept into the ‘beautiful game’ of football at all levels and it has become a business to big clubs vying for supremacy and betting syndicates seeking to profit from the sport.

He pointed to the scene at the international level such as in the Spanish La Liga and the English Premier League, where giant clubs spent astronomical amount of money to attract star players and it has turned the sport into a business.

“Betting syndicates and bookies compounded the problem and it also affected players and officials in the country,” Othman added.

He said corruption is one of the main reasons that contributed to the slide of football performance in the state and all parties must involve in tackling the problem.

MACC is on public-engagement mode with monthly interaction activities held simultaneously nationwide to promote culture of anti-corruption in the society.

“We have 14 Special Corruption Courts handling corruption cases, and those convicted by these courts will be blacklisted and their names posted on public domain.

“There are currently about 800 names on that registry which the public can access to (online),” he said.

The signing ceremony was led by team head coach Mohamad Hakimi Man, and witnessed by Othman and Sibuti MP Ahmad Lai.

Also present were Miri FA president Mohamad Jubaidi and his deputy Nazri Ahmad Lai, Bank Rakyat Miri branch manager Zambery Bujang and team manager Mike James Jugil.

Meanwhile, Ahmad Lai approved RM5,000 allocation to Miri LBR team to support their campaign in competitions and bring honour to the state.

LBR is the fourth-tier football league in Malaysia, an amateur-level competition established in 2015 to provide an alternative entry point for young players.

A total of 108 clubs participated in the league in 2016-2017 from the 150 districts nationwide which were divided into eight zones.

Gua Musang from the East Zone is the defending champion of LBR 2016-2017.

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