Was India's Azlan Shah match fixed?

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/h/hockeygeneric1.jpg' class='caption'> The FIH will wait for the full facts to come out before taking action into the match-fixing allegations in the Azlan Shah match between Malaysia and India.

Updated: July 02, 2008 17:29 IST
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Kuala Lumpur:

In a sensational allegation, several unnamed Malaysian hockey players have been accused by their own governing body of fixing a match against India in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup last month.

The players had placed online bets on Malaysia losing the last round-robin game against India on May 17, a Malaysian tabloid alleged in a report which has been taken note of by the International Hockey Federation (FIH).

India won the match 2-1 on their way to the final of the tournament where they lost to Argentina.

The Malaysian Hockey Federation has lodged a police complaint after the tabloid 'Malay Mail' published the report claiming that several Malaysian players had fixed the match against India.

The MHF has also started their own investigation on the allegations regarding the match.

The Indians, on their part, have strongly denied any involvement of their players in the alleged fixing episode with Chairman of the selection committee Aslam Sher Khan saying they did not even have an inkling of such a matter.

"There is no Indian involvement. If Malaysian players are involved, its not for us to bother. We did not even have a hint about it," Aslam Sher said.

"Our boys played and won four consecutive league matches in which the fourth tie was against Malaysia. It was also a narrow win," he said.

"It was scheduled by the previous regime and we just completed the commitment," Aslam Sher added. The FIH, the game's world governing body claimed that they were in the dark over the allegations of match fixing but would look into it after the investigations are over.

"This is the first time we have heard of such allegations. We compliment the Malaysian Hockey Federation for their prompt action and will wait for the results of the investigation," FIH President Els van Breda Vriesman was quoted as saying by the newspaper.

According to the tabloid, Malaysia's chief coach Sarjit Singh and his assistant coaches were seen at the Pudu police station on Tuesday, but the investigating officer of the case said the coaches had come on their own accord to make a police report similar to the one made by MHF secretary Hashim Yusoff.

The officer added police would speak to more players and others, including a 'Malay Mail' journalist, to assist in the investigations.

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