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A-League too honest for match-fixing

Following the recent match-fixing scandal uncovered in Europe, a former Australian player caught up in another scandal has said the A-League is too honest to be involved in such controversy. Abbas Saad, the former Socceroos striker who was convicted whilst playing in the Malaysian league in 1995, is confident that match-fixing would never find its way into the Australian game.

''It's about the culture of the players and the referees," Saad, now a TV reporter in Singapore, said.

"I've been around Asian football for almost 20 years, and the one thing they always say up here about Australians is that they're honest, they've got integrity. And anyone who follows the A-League knows how hard it is to predict results. Every week I get four out of five wrong. There's no pattern at all.

''To be honest, I don't think these blokes would be interested in Australia; the market is too small. They're looking for the big markets, which is why they look to Europe. The only thing that could be an issue is that Australia is now part of Asia, so the AFC games might be a target. Who's to say?''

A-League boss Archie Fraser is also confident that betting scandals will never enter the game in Australia due to a strict code of conduct that has been put in place.

''We have a range of initiatives in place to act as an early warning system for any signs of match-fixing and gambling among players and officials,'' he said.

''I'm confident it's not happening. There is a strict code of conduct banning players and officials engaging on any form of gambling or match fixing, and there are strict penalties for that sort of behaviour.''

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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