Referee Toshimitsu reveals he was offered money to fix Thai Cup final
The Thai Football Association has begun an investigation into claims that match-fixers attempted to rig the result of November's Thai FA Cup final. The Japanese official Yoshida Toshimitsu (photo) was in charge for Buriram United's 2-1 win over Army United and reported to the Asian Football Confederation that he was offered money to favour one of the two teams, the Thai newspapers Nation and Bangkok Post reported. The allegation follows the fallout from the news earlier this month that a global football betting scam involving a Singapore-based syndicate had been responsible for match-fixing at least 380 games in Europe alone. The Thai FA president and FIFA executive committee member, Worawi Makudi, said that he would inform FIFA and Interpol, the international police organisation, of the allegations. "We have already received the report the Japanese referee sent. I will discuss the incident with FIFA and AFC officials, as well as with Interpol when I travel to Malaysia on Thursday for a seminar about the problem of match-fixing", Worawi said. "We have already sent them all the relevant evidence we have about the game in question. However, we will also be discussing the issue at the association's board meeting. We already have a committee to take care of the matter". Interpol and AFC will co-host a two-day conference against match-fixing and corruption in football in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday. Army United's manager Col Worawut Withisiri said his side had nothing to do with the allegation. "Military officers have discipline and we will never resort to ungentlemanly conduct", he said. "Army chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha, as Army United chairman, has a clear policy that we must play entertaining football in a straightforward manner". Match-fixing in football has been rife throughout Asia with South Korea, Malaysia and China handing out bans in recent years. Last year, FIFA's vice-president Prince Ali bin Al-Hussein told Reuters more investment was required to help tackle the huge problem of match-fixing, especially in Asia.