Fifa criticises Singapore’s decision to release suspected match-fixer

Fifa, football’s global governing body’ has hit out at the decision by authorities in Singapore to release an individual suspected of playing a major role in match-fixing activities.

The Reuters news agency reports that Dan Tan Seet Eng was ordered to be freed by Singapore’s Court of Appeal this week after judges said the grounds for his detention had few connections with the city-state.

Tan is described by international criminal police organisation Interpol as being the leader of the world’s “most notorious match-fixing syndicate.”

Interpol praised Singaporean authorities upon Tan’s arrest in 2013, branding him as the “mastermind” behind football’s largest match-fixing syndicate.

He had been in custody since October 2013 under a law that allows Singapore’s Ministry of Home Affairs to detain someone who has links with criminal activities without trial for up to a year, if the organisation deems it necessary.

Upon his release, judges admitted that Tan’s acts were “reprehensible” but added “there is nothing to suggest whether (or how) these activities could be thought to have a bearing on the public safety, peace and good order within Singapore.”

Fifa has now waded in on the case, hitting out at Singaporean authorities for the decision to release Tan, saying in a statement to the Reuters news agency that it is “very disappointed” with the move.

“Fifa is very disappointed with the Singaporean Court of Appeal’s decision to release Mr Tan given the gravity of his past activities relating to match manipulation,” Fifa said.

“The integrity of the game is a top priority for Fifa and we continue to work closely with law enforcement agencies as well as the respective public authorities and other sports organisations on a national, regional and global level to tackle the issue of match manipulation.

“Match manipulation is a threat that undermines the integrity and credibility of football at different levels of the game.

“Fifa has a zero-tolerance policy on match manipulation and is committed to protecting the integrity of football by all means necessary.”

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