Duo accused of bribing footballers offered bail

Two Singaporean men facing charges of corruption for allegedly offering bribes to football players here appeared in court yesterday.

Rajendar Prasad Rai, 42, and Francis Donahue Marcel, 39, were offered bail of $300,000 and $50,000 respectively. Rai was later seen walking out of court. Their case will be mentioned again on Nov 2.

Both men had appeared in court last Monday. They are accused of agreeing with each other to offer $3,000 each to three or four football players from the Singapore Recreation Club (SRC) football team, to fix the outcome of a StarHub League Cup match between the club and Khalsa Balestier FC.

Court documents did not state the result desired or name the players offered bribes. Balestier Khalsa beat SRC 2-0 in the match on July 19, 2014.

Rai, a director in a plastic manufacturing company, is also accused of abetting a corrupt offence overseas. He allegedly instigated one Shree Manish Kalra Jeetender Kumar Kalra to give €25,000 (S$40,140) to three Macedonians, as a reward for fixing the result of a football match between Belgian club SC Charleroi and VVV Venlo from Holland. The match was played in Antalya, Turkey on Jan 11, 2013, and ended in a 1-0 win for Venlo.

Marcel, who is chairman of Admiralty FC, faces three charges of living on the earnings of three prostitutes between April and August 2012. He also faces one count of harbouring a woman for the purpose of prostitution between April and August 2012, and two charges of managing pubs in Circular Road as places of assignation for prostitution during the same period.

Rai and Marcel face up to five years in jail, and a fine of up to $100,000, for each count of corruption. If found guilty of the charges involving prostitution, Marcel faces a maximum fine of $10,000 and five years in jail.

In a statement after the duo were charged last week, the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) said "any player or official found guilty in a court of law for football corruption offences, or on sufficient proof being established before the FAS Council, will be dealt with severely and with the full extent of our laws".

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 06, 2015, with the headline 'Duo accused of bribing footballers offered bail'. Print Edition | Subscribe