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Feb 19, 2013

Thai FA to investigate bribe claim

The Thai Football Association has begun an investigation into claims that November's Thai FA Cup final was the subject of attempted match-fixing.

Thai newspapers Nation and Bangkok Post have reported that Yoshida Toshimitsu, who refereed the match in which Buriram United defeated Army United 2-1, was offered money to favour one of the two teams.

The reports follow an investigation by Europol that uncovered allegations of match-fixing in around 380 games across Europe and found that a further 300 games played outside the continent were questionable.

Worawi Makudi, the Thai FA president and a FIFA executive committee member, said he would inform FIFA and Interpol of the allegations.

"We have already received the report the Japanese referee sent. I'll 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."

Army United's manager, Col Worawut Withisiri, said his side had nothing to do with the alleged fixing attempt. "Military officers have discipline, and we will never resort to ungentlemanly conduct," he is quoted as saying in the Guardian.

"Army chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha, as Army United chairman, has a clear policy that we must play entertaining football in a straightforward manner."