Indonesia national under-23 football team also known as Indonesia Sub-23 or Garuda Muda, was accused of match fixing during its game against Thailand and Vietnam during the 2015 Southeast Asian Games in Singapore this month.
The Jakarta Legal Aid Institution (JLAI) called a press conference on Tuesday to reveal a phone recording that allegedly proved match-fixing claims. The evidence showed came from a whistleblower, who was a part of an underground gambling mafia operating in Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia.
The conversation was recorded on June 14 between the whistleblower and the Malaysian bookie, in which the latter confirmed that the match between Indonesia and Vietnam in the SEA Games was being influenced.
The bookie said that the Indonesia Sub-23 would lose by more than 4 goals, with the match ending 5-0 to Vietnam.
M Isnur of JLAI said that the Indonesian football team is run by the mafia and match-fixing has been prominent for 15 years.
“We then watched the game on Monday [June 15]. The game went exactly as the Malaysian bookie had predicted. The Young Garuda lost 4-0 before half time, after which BS contacted his Malaysian counterpart again to ask what would happen on the second half,” said Isnur.
On Wednesday, the Indonesian Football Association (PSSI) dismissed the accusation, saying that the 0-5 loss against Vietnam in the third-place match on June 15 was due to “quality differences.”
“There is no match fixing as accused,” said PSSI Chairman La Nyalla Mattalitti on his Twitter account. “The PSSI will take legal action against such slander.”
“This scandal serves as another reason why the transitional team is needed. Even before this, there has been other reports regarding bribery and match fixing cases,” said Sports and Youth Ministry development Chief Djoko Pekik Irianto, adding that the accusation has added to a long list of accusations and suspicions against the PSSI.