Ex-football manager jailed for match-fixing

The former manager of the Timor Leste national football team was jailed for two years and ordered to pay a penalty of $1,000 yesterday for inducing his team to throw a SEA Games match.

Orlando Marques Henriques Mendes was approached to fix the match between Malaysia and Timor Leste slated for May 30.

The man who approached him with the plan, Moises Natalino De Jesus, 32, was sentenced to 20 months' jail.

Moises, a former national footballer, had agreed with Singaporean Rajendran R. Kurusamy and Indonesian Nasiruddin to give a $15,000 bribe to Orlando, then the team manager.

The match-fixers were all arrested two days before the match was played, which ended in a 1-0 win for Malaysia.

Orlando, 49, who had also been a technical director in his country's football federation, admitted he had consented to take the bribe. He also admitted to being party to a criminal conspiracy to bribe at least seven Timor Leste players to lose the match.

Orlando and Moises, who both had claimed trial, threw in the towel on the second day of the hearing after the prosecution's key witness, Rajendran, testified.

Rajendran, 55, was convicted earlier of match-fixing and is now serving a four-year sentence, while former referee Nasiruddin, 52, was jailed for 30 months.

The court heard that two months before the SEA Games, Rajendran, also known as Pal, met Nasiruddin and told him he wanted to fix the matches involving Timor Leste.

Through Nasiruddin, Pal met Moises in Batam on May 25. Moises agreed to help draw in at least seven players.

On May 28, Pal met Moises and Nasiruddin at the Orchid Country Club, where he told Moises to approach Orlando and the players with the enticement to fix the game.

Orlando later met Pal at the club. Hours later, they were all arrested by anti-graft officers.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 07, 2015, with the headline 'Ex-football manager jailed for match-fixing'. Print Edition | Subscribe