by Bertha Henson
That Eric Ding, the Singaporean businessman in the middle of the Lebanese linesmen bribed-with-sex case, was a soccer tipster with The New Paper from 2006 to last year, it has been reported.
This must be making TNP feel a mite uncomfortable.
Apparently Ding, who was known as the Lobang King, gave out tips on how he thought soccer matches would go. He was a free-lancer, not an employee, which he meant he was probably paid per piece of “advice’’. Now with the match-fixing charges over his head, and his supposed boast that “you could make more money in a year through match-fixing than as a referee for 10’’, a soccer bettor who has followed the TNP might be wondering if there was more to his “tips’’ than good guesswork or technical analysis.
Beyond whether a newspaper, tabloid notwithstanding, should be really giving out betting tips, is how much TNP knew of Ding’s background during all the time it had him on its panel. Doubtless, it would not be enriching alleged match-fixers if it had an inkling of what he might have been up to. In fact, it would more likely to blow the whistle on him and have a crackling good story!
So TNP terminated his contract last year – was this when it had wind of the Lebanese linesmen case which transpired last June? Or was this for another reason?
Ding hasn’t gone through the full works in the courts and TNP might well be constrained in giving out any information on the man that might prejudice his case. But it will be good to know how TNP came to have a supposed match-fixer on its panel, paying for him a job that he might well be paying others to make come true for him.
In fact, the cheek of the man!