The Net Widens

FIFA President Sepp Blatter several years ago suggested that the goals be made bigger so that more goals were scored in football, but one wonders if he counted on the net widening as anti corruption forces delve deeper into the game at all levels.

Following on from the arrests in Australia a week ago El Salvador’s football federation banned fourteen national team players for life on the back of alleged match fixing games against the USA and Mexico. This follows on from last month’s suspension of 22 players for one month while investigations were carried out.

National team coach Augustin Alberto Castillo has already stated that his next national squad will be made up of mainly junior players as a result of the suspensions.

Then today closer to home the Perak FA in Malaysia has announced that they have suspended all of the players and officials from the state  team with immediate effect and have advised that they have called in the Police and also the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission.

Perak were flying in Group D of the Malaysian Cup  and needed just one win from their final three games to qualify for the last eight. They then lost 2-1 to Lions XII, 1-0 to Kedah and then 6-1 to Sarawak, and crashed out of the competition.

Coach Mohd Azaari Khor has welcomed the suspensions, including his own. “The defeat to Sarawak was the biggest of my career. I knew we would face a tough time, but did not expect such a heavy loss. What made it more painful was that it was our silly mistakes which gifted Sarawak the big win,” he is quoted as saying.  Key defender Brazilian Rafael who was given the task of marking Bosnian striker Muamer Salibasic, who scored a hat-trick is one who has come under the spotlight. He was substituted before half time in the match.

There is no doubt more leagues around the world will be taking similar actions in the months ahead. Can they stamp this out? It will be hard. It sadly happens far more than many will want to believe and not just overseas, also not only in football.



The Net Widens
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