Advertisement

‘Azkals not involved in fixing of matches’

NO member of the Philippine Azkals national football team has been involved in game-fixing.

This was the declaration made by Philippine Football Federation president Mariano “Nonong” Araneta in response to the news item reporting that members of the Nepal national football team had admitted that they played the Azkals in a “fixed” game in 2011. 

“Ang importante, hindi involved ang mga players natin diyan. Malinis ang ang ating mga participation,” said Araneta.

The Nepalese players, according to probers, have been involved in game-fixing incidents since 2008, including in friendly games with the Philippine Azkals and Malaysian team in 2011. The Azkals beat Nepal, 4-0, at the Rizal Football Stadium in Manila on that year. 

Araneta said he had already received communications from the Asian Football Confederation, which  has already banned the four Nepalese players and an official.

Because of the incident, Araneta said the Azkals won’t be having any friendlies with Nepal’s national team for the meantime.

“Friendlies? I don’t think so with Nepal,” said Araneta, who added that the Azkals have no schedule with other countries for the moment as well.

According to Araneta, the Azkals are focusing on their coming FIFA World Cup Qualification match with Yemen on Nov. 12, and their preparation for the Asian Cup.

“We are certain of this. No Filipino player is involved. Dapat lang na parusahan sila (Nepal players),” said PFF General Secretary Ed Gastanes.

Nepal team captain Sagar Thapa and four others were arrested last Wednesday after they were accused of taking money from bookmakers in Malaysia and Singapore to lose matches.    

According to Araneta, the Azkals are focusing on their coming FIFA World Cup Qualification match with Yemen on Nov. 12, and their preparation for the Asian Cup.

“We are certain of this. No Filipino player is involved. Dapat lang na parusahan sila (Nepal players),” said PFF General Secretary Ed Gastanes.

Nepal team captain Sagar Thapa and four others were arrested last Wednesday after they were accused of taking money from bookmakers in Malaysia and Singapore to lose matches.

According to the Himalayan Times, a police official said the alleged match-fixing dated from 2009 and  also included matches against Afghanistan, Bangladesh and  Malaysia.

The AFC, in a statement Monday, said a year-long investigation in conjunction with Sportradar and Nepali police resulted in the provisional suspension.

It also asked the sport’s international governing body, FIFA to have them banned worldwide.

Aside from Thapa, the other players identified to be also involved in game-fixing were Bikash Singh Chhetri, Sandip Rai and Ritesh Thapa, and the official is listed as Anjan K.C.

Goalkeeper Ritesh Thapa told police investigators in Nepal of his involvements following his arrest last week, admitting he received money for doing so.

He added that it was teammate KC Anjan, who made arrangements when he went to Manila and Kuala Lumpur before their games with the Philippine Azkals and the Malaysian national men’s football team.

“Anjan visited Manila and Kuala Lumpur. We decided to fix matches as we concluded that they were just friendly matches,” said Thapa in his confession which was published by goalnepal.com.

Thapa said he was told that they will get good money for doing so.

“We are to lose the matches against the Philippines and Malaysia. Anjar said we will get good money, and we did the same,” Thapa told probers.

Topics: Philippine Azkals , football , fifa world cup
COMMENT DISCLAIMER: Reader comments posted on this Web site are not in any way endorsed by Manila Standard. Comments are views by manilastandard.net readers who exercise their right to free expression and they do not necessarily represent or reflect the position or viewpoint of manilastandard.net. While reserving this publication’s right to delete comments that are deemed offensive, indecent or inconsistent with Manila Standard editorial standards, Manila Standard may not be held liable for any false information posted by readers in this comments section.
AdvertisementKPPI
Advertisement