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Malaysian says he gave money for forecasting, not match-fixing

February 4, 1997 GMT

WINCHESTER, England (AP) _ A Malaysian businessman testified Tuesday he handed over large amounts of cash to soccer stars Bruce Grobbelaar and Hans Segers for forecasting soccer games, but had no part in any match-fixing.

Asked if he would do anything to corrupt the sport, Heng Suan Lim told the jury: ``Absolutely not. I love the game too much.″

His attorney, Jerome Lynch, asked: ``Have you ever asked anyone to throw a match?″

Lim replied: ``Absolutely not, not in my life.″

Lim, a 31-year-old accountant from Kuala Lumpur, is on trial with Grobbelaar, Segers and former Wimbledon striker John Fashanu, accused of conspiracy to give or receive cash to influence the outcome of soccer games in the English Premier League. All four plead innocent.

The prosecution alleges Grobbelaar $68,000 for letting in three goals in Liverpool’s loss to Newcastle in 1994. Segers is accused of accepting a total of $256,000 after Wimbledon lost several games, and Fashanu is alleged to have handed over cash supplied by Lim from betting syndicates in Malaysia and Indonesia.

Lim told the Winchester Court how he was paid by betting friends in Kuala Lumpur for forecasting games and passing on information on English teams.

Segers, who also played for Wimbledon, helped him out with details on Dutch games, too, and Lim admitted he paid $56,000 to the Dutch goalkeeper for helping him forecast games on behalf of the Malaysian bettors.

Grobbelaar also become involved in forecasting games and Lim said he paid him between $12,800-$14,400.