Date
23 November 2017
Wilson Raj Perumal fixed up to 100 football matches, racking up US$5 million in ill-gotten gains which he blew on gambling. Photo: The Guardian
Wilson Raj Perumal fixed up to 100 football matches, racking up US$5 million in ill-gotten gains which he blew on gambling. Photo: The Guardian

Football menace comes clean, joins fight against match-fixing

A Singapore man once described as one of the world’s most notorious match-fixers is helping authorities fight football fraud after coming clean about his past misdeeds.

Wilson Raj Perumal, 49, rigged up to 100 football matches during a 15-year run, making US$5 million in ill-gotten gains before blowing it all on gambling, according to CNN.

Perumal said he achieved a 70-80 percent success rate in fixing matches at the Olympics, World Cup qualifiers, the women’s World Cup, the CONCACAF Gold Cup and the African Cup of Nations.

He bribed players, coaches and officials, starting with matches in Singapore, before graduating to major events.

At one time, he had 38 countries in one phone contact list with the names of officials and players from those countries, according to an investigator interviewed for the story  

But since his arrest and subsequent conviction in 2011 — his fourth for football-related crimes – Perumal has been coming clean on his former life and helping European police combat match-fixing, the report said.

“I have no regrets. It was like, it was a phase of my life and I enjoyed it and I traveled around the world. I had a good time,” he told CNN’s sports anchor Don Ridell.

He said FIFA, the football world governing body, has been too focused on racism and has not done enough to fight match-fixing.

“I’m not saying FIFA shouldn’t pump in so much money [to tackle racism] but what I’m saying is that match-fixing is a more pressing issue,” he said.

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JL/RA

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