The compromised whistle and flag

The Compromised Whistle and Flags

         “Referee kelong” could be heard when soccer matches are not umpired properly. And we usually push the blame to this man with the whistle when our favourite team lost the match. However, besides the whistle-man, there are two other match officials with flags who also have influence over the outcome of the match. Together, the trio can make or break the game and spoil the beauty of the sport!

2         Acting on prior information of match fixing involving the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup match between Tampines Rovers and East Bengal, CPIB launched an investigation. The match was scheduled to be played on 03 April 2013. In the early morning of 03 April 2013, three of the match officials, referee Ali Sabbagh and assistant referees Ali Eid and Abdallah Taleb, who were originally assigned to officiate the match were brought to the CPIB to assist in the investigations. The Bureau alerted the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) and the three match officials were replaced.

3         Subsequent investigations revealed that the trio corruptly received gratification from one Ding Si Yang, in the form of free sexual service from three females.

4         On 04 April 2013, Ali Sabbagh, Ali Eid and Abdallah Taleb were produced in Court, each with a charge of one count of corruptly receiving gratification, in the form of free sexual service which is an offence under section 5(a)(i) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, Chapter 241.

5         The respective charges are attached for reference.

6         Singapore has always adopted a zero tolerance approach towards corruption and match fixing of any form is not condoned in Singapore. The Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) investigates into match-fixing through bribery cases and will not hesitate to take action against any parties involved if they had given or received bribes to fix a match. The Bureau works closely with the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) and the authorities to keep the local soccer scene clean.

Jeremy Goh
Senior Executive, Corporate Relations
Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau
Tel: 98181569


Last updated: 28 Sep 2017