State footballers, alleged bookie lodge police reports

Irawan (third, right) seen with the players, a man alleged to be a bookie and their family members showing a copy of their police report in front of the Central Police Station today. – Photo by Chimon Upon

KUCHING: Police reports were lodged by two state footballers and a man alleged to be a bookie at the Central Police Station today, citing reason that they were very disappointed with the way that the Football Association of Sarawak (FAS) has conducted its investigation or threw allegations against them.

The trio went straight to the Waterfront Hotel after lodging the reports to attend a press conference.

According to lawyers Ahmad Dzulfadzli Hamdan, Saifulnizam Sam and Irawan Sudarsono who represented the trio, they believed that there has been a heinous disregard for the truth in the portrayal of their clients, and a total misrepresentation of their characters and their years of committed services to Sarawak Football as professional footballers, when filing a complaint to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) for the alleged match fixing claims.

“Our clients had to endure ongoing public scrutiny by being portrayed as criminals on national television, in news reports across various mass media, as well as the bombardment of comments and negative messages directed to our clients due to the serious allegations raised by FAS,” added Irawan during the press conference.

He also commented that despite the fact that their clients have been released from MACC custody today, the damage to their image and reputation as credible individuals and professional footballers have already been done and the misinformation and rumours surrounding their characters continue to swirl online that they are involved in match fixing despite any conclusive evidence of such actions.

Apart from that, Irawan also commented that to date, there has been no public apology to their clients from FAS for the repercussions of the investigations or allegations towards their clients.

“As such, we shall pursue all avenues available under the civil court to seek justice for these young men, servants to state football and a loyal fan of the team, and do our utmost best to clear their names and reputation,” he said.

Two state football players and a man alleged to be a ‘bookie’ were released on Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) bail yesterday.

They were recently remanded to facilitate probe into alleged match-fixing in a match between Sarawak and Felcra United FC.

No charge was framed against them.

MACC officer Dzulkarnain Rousan Hasbi, when making the application to release them from remand order, told the Magistrate Sandy Yvette Freddy that they are still investigating.

However the amount of the bail has not been decided yet, he said.

The players, aged 28 and 29, were detained on Feb 14 at around 7.55pm while the 34-year-old ‘bookie’ was picked up at around 7.45pm, and were remanded for six days since Feb 15.

The case was being investigated under Section 16(a) of the MACC 2009 for soliciting, which carries an imprisonment term up to seven years or fined up to RM50,000 upon conviction.

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