AT Kabul: Several former Afghanistan football players, including ex-captain Djelaludin Sharityar and goalkeeper Aimal Gerowal, have come forward with allegations that Mohammad Kargar, the president of Afghanistan’s football federation (AFF), instructed them to manipulate two matches during a men’s tournament in Malaysia. The accused matches took place against Nepal and Sierra Leone at the Merdeka tournament in 2008.
Kargar, who assumed the role of AFF president in January 2019, is alleged to have collaborated with notorious match-fixer Wilson Raj Perumal and Dan Tan to orchestrate specific outcomes in the mentioned matches. Perumal has a history of involvement in match-fixing, and Tan was labeled by Interpol in 2013 as the head of the “world’s largest and most aggressive match-fixing syndicate,” although he denies any wrongdoing.
This revelation comes in the wake of FIFA’s lifetime ban in October 2019 on former Afghanistan player Mohammad Salim Israfeel Kohistani and six other internationals. The ban was a result of a lengthy investigation into matches that Singapore-based match-fixer Perumal attempted to manipulate for betting purposes. Numerous players from the Afghanistan squad have now asserted that Kargar was also implicated in a plot with Perumal and Tan, allegedly receiving $2,500 each in exchange for their involvement during the friendly tournament in Malaysia.
These serious allegations cast a shadow over the integrity of Afghan football and raise concerns about the extent of match-fixing activities that may have impacted the sport in the country. The claims are likely to prompt further investigations by football governing bodies to ascertain the truth and take appropriate actions if the allegations are substantiated.