The Match-fixing Identification Committee of the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) yesterday interviewed four of the six players for 'suspicious behaviour' during the Bangladesh Premier League fixture between Saif Sporting Club and Chittagong Abahani on February 23.
The committee, headed by ex-secretary Humayun Khalid, interviewed Chittagong Abahani captain Monaem Khan Raju, midfielders Abdul Malek and Awala Magalan and Saif Sporting Club's captain Jamal Bhuiyan to learn their accounts of the match.
The match, played at the Shaheed Rafique Uddin Bhuiyan Stadium in Mymensingh, had ended in a goalless draw.
The other two players summoned before the committee – Saif SC forward Jafar Iqbal and defender Yasin Arafat are currently in Bahrain with the national under-23 team. They will be interviewed after their return, Humayun Khalid informed.
“Our committee had analysed video footages of that match and hence we called up a few players for the interview. We talked about various aspects of the game and their experience in the interview. This process will continue,” Khalid told The Daily Star last night.
While the committee maintains that they started the investigation of the basis of a TV news report and went through video footage of the match before summoning the players, one of those called up, Chittagong Abahani midfielder Abdul Malek, was not even in the squad for the match.
Khalid defended calling up Malek by saying: “We can hear about his experience and other things from the interview. We might call up other people for the investigation.”
Jamal said he answered everything the committee asked him. “They asked me why we couldn't win and why we couldn't score. I told them draws are part of the game and not scoring is also part of the game. How would we benefit from not winning? I'm not like that. I play to win.”
Chittagong Abahani skipper Raju reiterated his position as having nothing to do with the alleged match-fixing.
“I cannot comment on what they asked or what we said as it is under investigation, but I can say we didn't do anything wrong. Why would we play for one point? In fact, if it was not for a decision from the referee, we would have won the game,” Raju said after attending the interview.