A former Indonesia team manager has claimed that a number of his players have been influenced by match-fixers to throw their 2010 AFF Championship final against Malaysia.
Indonesia had opened the tournament with a 5-1 win over archrivals Malaysia in the group stage, but when the two sides met again in the final, Malaysia trounced them 3-0 at home, before the second leg in Jakarta ended in a 2-1 win to Indonesia, for a 4-2 win on aggregate to the Harimau Malaya , which allowed Malaysia to lift the biennial regional title for the first time.
Andi Darussalam Tabusala made the claim on a televised talkshow on Wednesday.
"A year after (the match), I got to know a number of Malaysians. I asked them, 'How were you able to defeat my team?' They opened up to me, saying 'Brother, if we had not paid off your players, we wouldn't have won.'
"I still remember it until today. In the early part of the first final, Maman Abdurrahman (Indonesia defender) failed to control the ball and let the opposition player (Malaysia forward Norshahrul Idlan Talaha) gain possession, send a cross in, resulting in the first goal," accused the former Indonesian league director, although he did not identify the supposed Malaysian.
He also asserted that his players had been approached by match-fixers at the team hotel.
"The second [Malaysia] goal took place suspiciously. Safee Sali scored it effortlessly thanks to the porous defence. Only later I knew who came into the hotel, but I can't name them here.
"I am confident that the 3-0 [first leg] match was fixed. I have no evidence to make the accusation, but you can tell from the way the game was played.
"I think we lost because I was a bit careless in guarding the team hotel. When we won 5-1 (in the group stage), the hotel had been closely watched. If I were summoned by the police, I can tell them who entered the hotel. I'll tell everything to the police, so that Indonesian football may improve," declared the former Indonesian FA official.
Indonesia have reached the AFF Championship five times, but have never won the competition since it began in 1996.