Friday, August 20, 1999 Published at 21:08 GMT 22:08 UK
Analysis: Sorry state of Asian soccer
English football is popular in the Far East among fans and syndicates
By BBC Correspondent David Willis in Singapore
Asian soccer has been devastated by Far Eastern betting syndicates which are increasingly seeking to penetrate the English game.
Proof that Asian betting scams are targeting English football came as a businessman was convicted of taking part in a con to fix English Premiership football matches by sabotaging the floodlights.
Wai Yuen Liu, 38, of Kensington, west London, had denied involvement in a plot to black out a game between Charlton Athletic and Liverpool in February this year.
In a single season, the Malaysian authorities estimated that 90% of games in their fledgling professional league were decided not on the pitch, but by shadowy bookmaking syndicates operating from the grandstand.
These syndicates, many of which are thought to be linked to criminal gangs, have been paying players to fix the results of games.
When a result confounds the form book, the syndicates make more money. But the fans have become increasingly disenchanted.
Syndicates can make millions
A growing number have switched to betting on the English Premier League, whose matches are regularly shown live on TV here.
In this gambling-mad region, millions of pounds change hands on the outcome, and the syndicates stand to make a fortune if they can fix the result.
The authorities have found it impossible to curb the menace of match-fixing.
Ingenious and determined
Only one bookmaker has been brought to court - an Indian, who said he was making a million pounds a month fixing matches, and he is thought to be up to his old tricks after bribing a warder to smuggle a mobile phone into the jail.
Being brought before the courts in Britain is clearly a setback for the syndicates, but they are known to be ingenious and determined.
Millions of pounds are at stake if they can corrupt the English Premier League, and, as one source told me, they will stop at nothing.