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Match-fixing claims are baseless: Sarjit Singh
June 27, 2008 14:20 IST
Malaysian national hockey coach Sarjit Singh claimed that the match-fixing accusations on his players in an Azlan Shah match against India last month were "wild allegations" aimed at tarnishing the image of Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) and his charges.
Police had begun investigations on the scandal acting on MHF's complaint following allegations that India's 2-1 win over Malaysia on May 17 was fixed with some members of Malaysian team offering online bets to lose their own team.
Sarjit said the police probe would clear his players of any guilt and he has also lodged a police complaint on Tuesday to cooperate with the authorities to reach to the bottom of the controversy.
"First of all, I believe in my players and I'm confident that they are not involved in illegal activities. That is why I have lodged a complaint (on Tuesday) to find out who sent the damaging e-mails," Sarjit said.
"My only concern is to clear MHF's and the players' name, and bring to book those who have thrown these wild allegations to tarnish the good name of the sport," he was quoted as saying by 'New Straits Times'.
"They (players) are equally disturbed with the allegations, and eagerly awaiting for the police investigation to reveal names of those who are out to tarnish their reputation," he added.
On Thursday, MHF had refused to comment on the authenticity of the match-fixing allegations, saying they would not comment on the matter till the police investigations are complete.
"We have sent the case to police and it is looking into it. We do not know if it is true or not," Hashim Mohammad Yusof, Secretary of the MHF had told PTI.
Asked if the allegations were true, Hashim had said, "We cannot comment until the final results are out and the police gives us approval."
The local police are yet to call Sarjit or any of the players for questioning and the coach said they would cooperate with the police in finding out the truth.
"My players and I are open to investigation, and we will cooperate with the police when they need our help. There is nothing to hide, and nothing to fear," he said.
"Three-quarter of this team has been training with me since the (2004 Rotterdam) Junior World Cup. They practically grew from boys to men under me. I know all of them like the back of my hand, and that is why it saddens me when some quarters have cast aspersions on them," Sarjit added.