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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A man with flaws
Excellent read. Quite honest. Paints a picture of a greedy, corrupt world. No punches pulled, quite sweary though. Can definitely recommend.
Published 4 months ago by ross evans

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3.0 out of 5 stars An unreliable account of the Truth behind Match-Fixing. authors taken for a ride.
Can't imagine how others find this an engaging read considering that Wilson Raj has concoted a fantasy world that depicts him as a pawn in a larger scheme of things. Loads of inaccuracies, pertaining to the due process he received in the Courts and in jail and largely pandering to conspiracy theorists out there. Yes match fixing is an issue not only in Singapore but in...
Published 5 days ago by S. B. Sivaganesh


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A man with flaws, 15 May 2014
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Excellent read. Quite honest. Paints a picture of a greedy, corrupt world. No punches pulled, quite sweary though. Can definitely recommend.
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3.0 out of 5 stars An unreliable account of the Truth behind Match-Fixing. authors taken for a ride., 18 Sep 2014
By 
S. B. Sivaganesh (Singapore) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Can't imagine how others find this an engaging read considering that Wilson Raj has concoted a fantasy world that depicts him as a pawn in a larger scheme of things. Loads of inaccuracies, pertaining to the due process he received in the Courts and in jail and largely pandering to conspiracy theorists out there. Yes match fixing is an issue not only in Singapore but in Asia as a whole but the way Wilson Raj has taken the authors on a ride with his accounts is laughable. Still an interesting read that needs a large dollop of salt when hearing it from this arrogant and dispicable chap.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating yet depressing, 8 July 2014
This review is from my website The Sports Book Review

Kelong Kings is the revealing expose, and confessions if you like, of the convicted fraudster and match fixer William Raj Perumal. A scary and at times frankly depressing insight into the murky world of illegal Asian betting and the fixes that bring in the money.

If the name of Wilson Raj Perumal sounds familiar, aside from several news stories over the years of fixes that grabbed the attention (notably to my mind a series of friendly matches in Turkey a few years ago with many crazy penalty awards, and also the sham Togo team who travelled for a fixture in Bahrain), he hit the headlines again just recently with his claims, later denied, of knowing the outcome of Cameroon’s match with Croatia in the 2014 World Cup. These claims, printed by German newspaper Bild, saw Perumal allegedly knowing not only the final score, but also that Cameroon would have a players sent off.

This is his life story in his own, and ghost written, words. And it is a troubled story at that. Perumal’s gradual penetration into match fixing on a global scale makes for interesting reading. From the small time games in Singapore and Malaysia, including some complete sham matches, to early failed attempts to infiltrate the English leagues you can sense the ever increasing scale of the operation and its reach. You also get a sense of the deep personal issues within Perumal. He may be a match fixer, but he is also a compulsive gambler frittering away millions on matches he hadn’t fixed. He also comes across as a deeply unsympathetic character; someone happy to play the victim and failing to see his own faults. But it is in the details and method of the fixes that this book delivers the most.

What is unfortunate is the fact, highlighted early, that in some cases names and circumstances have been removed for obvious legal reasons. This legal minefield is also the reason why several big publishers passed up the opportunity to publish this book when offered. While a lack of such detail makes things a little less revelatory than it could have been, the fact remains that Perumal has been convicted for the activities described here and has since cooperated as a whistle blower.

With the caveat of a lack of some specifics kept in mind, it is still a startling tale, both in terms of the ease with which the fixers could find willing accomplices, and the matter of factness of the main perpetrator in his telling of his tale. As it says in the foreword: ‘You will never be quite the same if you read this book through to the end.’

What this doesn’t reveal, thankfully, is large scale fixing of either major leagues or the highest level of international tournament Finals on the whole, though they aren’t untouched. But the prime focus, for Perumal at least, was players from poor countries playing in poorly paid leagues or for impoverished national teams. A notable focus at tournaments were players on teams that had lost their first two group games and were eliminated with a game to play. Easy prey for the likes of Perumal and in seemingly many cases happy to lose by a certain margin to ensure a bumper pay day far in excess of their match fees or wages.

Those named who turned Perumal down restore a little faith, for example the mid-90s Chelsea goalkeeper Dmitri Kharine. He refused Perumal’s advances and also revealed he’d been offered considerable sums to lose matches at the USA ’94 World Cup and had refused then too. These are the first signs of bigger things to come with attempts made at the Atlanta Olympics of 1996 and various continental tournaments with varying degrees of success.

The saddest parts are the examples of players on teams not wanting to even attempt to achieve any level of success in a tournament and simply wanting to make some money out of their participation. And I’m not talking about some of the makeshift friendly tournaments here. This is Asian Cup qualifying, CONCACAF Gold Cup Finals and World Cup qualifying. Those from poor nations receiving poor wages are the obvious targets, and in the face of tens of thousands of dollars they roll over and play ball so readily; player and referee alike.

This I find both fascinating and depressing in equal measure. An underdog reaching a tournament but finding themselves out of their depth isn’t a shock or even unusual, but it seems in some cases to be pre-determined as the financial benefits of a fixed margin loss far outweigh the potential glory of an attempted upset. It’s all laid out here and it’s all rather depressing. The involvement in various World Cup qualifiers is a particular low point, but Perumal stopped short of trying to fix games at the World Cup itself stating ‘When they [footballers] are competing at the highest levels, will play 100% and be prepared to die on the field; they’ll choose sport over money.’ Sadly in many other cases, that seems not to be the case.

It is difficult to know exactly how accurate all of this is, but the claims are quite specific and many names of those, all distinctly low profile I should add, who take the bait are mentioned. Additionally, Perumal has little to gain by lying at this point, and the detail offered is considerable.

It gets a bit complex at times when the intricacies of the Asian betting system and the agent and fixer set up are explored, and can get a bit confusing as a result. This stuff all needs to be explained I suppose but it is the specific examples of fixed games, or fixed aspects of a game, and the attempts to set these up, successful or otherwise, that make the most interesting parts of the book.

It reads like Perumal’s thoughts and words are pouring out onto the page, perhaps not as a confession as such: there is after all no hint of remorse. It is more a mere statement of fact with numerous inner thoughts thrown in. At times I felt it needed a more polished flow, the style is rather rough and bitty, but I guess that is due to the first hand nature of the tale being told. The style suggests someone juggling many balls at once, with so many thoughts to divulge. It is Perumal’s story told his way, and what a fascinating yet depressing story it is.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating stuff, 25 May 2014
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The writing style takes some getting used to, and Wilson doesn't come across particularly well at times... but it's well worth persevering. I now find myself looking at the results in world football, and some of the more peculiar goings on in my own club, and thinking that maybe football isn't as "funny" an old game as we're always told. Maybe it all makes sense to the people who know what's going on!

If you've made it far enough to read this review, then go ahead and order it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars good read, 8 Sep 2014
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r chandarana (london, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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A good read. Easy to read and an eye opener on the world of match fixing on a global scale.
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Kelong Kings: Confessions of the world's most prolific match-fixer
Kelong Kings: Confessions of the world's most prolific match-fixer by Emanuele Piano (Mass Market Paperback - 2014)
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