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June 24, 2017

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Book claims Singapore match-fixers 'planned to rig World Cup'

SINGAPORE--Singapore authorities last year placed leaders of a global match-fixing ring operating from the city-state in indefinite detention after uncovering plans to rig the World Cup, according to a book released Monday.

Zaihan Mohamed Yusof, a Singaporean investigative journalist who has reported extensively on soccer match-fixing, details how he learnt of the now-crippled gang's plans from government officials and a prominent sports corruption investigator.

"The syndicate had been posturing, setting up a base of corrupt football players and officials through matches played overseas in national leagues and international friendlies," Zaihan quoted one senior unnamed Singapore official as saying in "Foul! The Inside Story of Singapore Match Fixers."

"When the 2014 World Cup comes, all they will be doing is collecting (their betting earnings)," the official said of the tournament which kicked off in Brazil last week, according to the book.

"Something had to be done to stop them ... we couldn't take the chance," another official was quoted as saying.

Zaihan also quoted Michael Pride, head of operations at Australia-based match-fixing investigators SI Sports Intelligence, as saying "this syndicate allegedly sets up fixes six months ahead of major matches."

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