A 55-year-old Singaporean man has been jailed for four years for attempting to fix a preliminary Southeast Asian Games football match by bribing foreign coaches and players.
Rajendran R Kurusamy, a supervisor at a construction company, pleaded guilty to approaching Timor Leste’s team manager Orlando Marques Henriques Mendes with the help of Indonesian referee Nasiruddin, and a former Timor Leste player.
Rajendran, who has served time in jail in past for match-fixing, offered Mendes 15,000 Singapore dollars to ensure that Timor Leste’s first round match against Malaysia went goalless for the first 20 minutes before they would eventually lose by a few goals.
While Mendes allegedly accepted the bribe, seven Timor Leste players were offered $4,000 apiece by Rajendran to ensure the fix went ahead as planned.
Rajendran, Mendes, Nasiruddin and the former Timor Leste player were all arrested prior to the match on May 30, which Malaysia won 1-0.
As a result of Rajendran’s actions, district judge Hamidah Ibrahim handed the 55-year-old a 42-month prison sentence for bribing Mendes and a 48-month jail term for offering to bribe at least seven Timor Leste players.
Deputy public prosecutor Nicholas Khoo branded Rajendran as Singapore’s “most prolific match-fixer in terms of number of convictions” as he was sentenced to 27 months in jail in 1997 for attempting to bribe three S-League players. He was then given a 24-month jail sentence two years later for handing a jail warden 20,000 Singapore dollars in exchange for a mobile phone, which he used to make bets and personal calls.
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