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Former S.League player to lose Singapore citizenship for match fixing

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The former S.League player who spent more than two years in prison for his alleged role in a global match-fixing syndicate is now likely to be stripped of his Singapore citizenship.

Mali-born Gaye Alassane, who played for Gombak United in the S.League and some non-professional Singapore clubs, was served with a Notice of Proposed Deprivation of Citizenship under Article 133(1) of the Constitution on Thursday.

"I was shocked when I heard the news this morning, and, of course I feel terrible about it," Alassane told The Straits Times.

"I'm lost, I don't know where my life is. I really don't know what to do now."

Alassane, 43, obtained his Singapore citizenship in 2003. According to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), he conspired with syndicate members to fix football matches in various countries by corrupting officials and players.

It was alleged that Alassane travelled abroad from Singapore to influence the outcome of games.

"In addition, the individual entertained and cultivated relationships with foreign nationals in Singapore to draw them into his syndicate's match-fixing activities," MHA said.

Alassane became a Singapore citizen through the Family Ties Scheme 14 years ago and is the father of two local children.

Having wore the colours of Malian club Batavia as a teenager, he arrived in Singapore in 1993 to play for Tiong Bahru FC in the Singapore Premier League.

Alassane told The Straits Times that he wanted to put the past behind him and start a new chapter, but was shocked by the ruling to take away his citizenship.

"I sat in prison, and all I could think about was my two children and what I've put them through; what I'm going through now and how I got here," Alassane said.

"I decided that I wanted to be a good man -- I wanted to change.

"Yes, I did those things, but everybody make mistakes, no?

"I thought I paid for mine already. I don't know what to say now."

Alassane can appeal the decision by applying for his case to be referred to a Citizenship Committee of Inquiry (CCOI) within 21 days of being served with his notice.