One-time Hong Kong footballer of the Year Lee Wai-lim yesterday admitted pocketing HK$60,000 to fix two matches.
He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud and to bribery charges before District Court judge Frankie Yiu Fun-che, who allowed him bail.
Lee, who coached Hong Kong Pegasus Football Club’s reserve team, had “signaled” a fix was set to players by making gestures such as pulling up the hood of his jacket during a game.
Lee, 36, was charged along with four former Pegasus players who pleaded not guilty from one to seven counts of bribery and defrauding in the HK$60,000 fixing of three matches in 2016.
The four players – Kwok Kin-pong, 30, Michael Cheng Lai-hin, 31, Chan Pak-hang, 24, and Lee Ka-ho, 24 – have also been allowed bail during a trial set to run for 10 days. They allegedly were involves with bribes in Hong Kong Football Association Reserve Division League games.
The two matches Lee admitted fixing were between Pegasus and Biu Chun Rangers FC on March 23 and April 13, 2016.
The court was told that five minutes before the first game started Pegasus player Wong Wai received instructions from Lee.
“You should not score any goal in the first 15 minutes,” Lee said. “Then I will pull up on the hood of my jacket and you should try to score.”
While Wong played said he played “as usual,” he said Lee Ka-ho scored an own goal – Wong reckoned it was a “deliberate” act – as Pegasus lost 6-2.
The following day, Liu Songwei, a former Rangers player, allegedly handed a black plastic bag to Cheng.
Under caution, Lee said Liu had told him to fix the match and he would be rewarded.
And for the April match Wong was instructed by Lee to lose for a reward that would be “one and a half.” Wong understood that to mean HK$15,000.
Wu Chun-ming, another Pegasus player and witness, claimed defendant Chan warned him they “must lose” or else others “would suffer.” Pegasus won that match 1-0, and Wong said he had to pay out HK$10,000 to Lee.
Lee played for the Hong Kong team and was crowned the SAR’s footballer of the year for 2009.
Pegasus is chaired by author, singer and businesswoman Canny Leung Chi-shan, who is set to be a witness.
The hearing continues today.