A top football player was charged last night with taking a bribe to lose a World Cup qualifying match as part of an international match-fixing syndicate. The then national team left-winger Chan Tsz-kong faces charges that he conspired with goalkeeper Kevin Lok Kar-win and others to pocket $200,000 from a bookmaker by losing against Thailand. The game in Bangkok on March 9 last year finished 2-0 to Thailand. Hong Kong won the home tie 3-2 on March 30. Chan, 26, will appear in Eastern Court this morning. The pair were among six members of the team arrested in a series of raids by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) and the Organised Crime and Triad Bureau over the past two days. Sources have confirmed that the other players arrested were Sing Tao's Wai Kwan-lung and Lau Chi-yuen and Happy Valley's Chan Chi-keung and Lee Wai-man. A police sergeant was also arrested on suspicion that he offered protection to the syndicate by tipping them off to possible police or ICAC action. All were detained overnight by the ICAC. The probe is understood to include World Cup qualifiers and domestic league matches stretching back to 1996. The syndicate was also allegedly running a computerised illegal bookmaking centre from two locations in Fanling, taking 'millions and millions' of dollars in bets which were then passed on to another syndicate in Singapore. Authorities there arrested 14 Singaporeans in a simultaneous sting operation on two gambling dens. Sources say the suspected racket may have spread even further, with bets being passed on to other countries in the region and even as far afield as Gibraltar and Britain. A total of 30 people were arrested in connection with the Hong Kong end of the illegal betting racket, which allegedly took $4 million in bets in the three-hour period running up to the opening World Cup match between Brazil and Scotland. It is understood a number of the players were arrested at the Fanling gambling dens. Other players were called in by the ICAC to be questioned over the allegations but none was charged. A senior ICAC source said: 'This is not only incredible, it is shocking for Hong Kong. We are talking here about a massively well organised syndicate operating internationally.' An ICAC statement said the investigation had lasted several months amid allegations that bribes had been accepted 'by a number of players' to affect the outcome of matches in the Hong Kong First Division. 'A number of preliminary World Cup matches played by the Hong Kong team were also suspected to be affected,' the statement added. The Hong Kong Football Association were said to be providing 'full co-operation' to the ICAC. Speaking on television last night, national coach Kwok Ka-ming said: 'From a coach's point of view, I did not notice anything unusual during the two World Cup qualifying games against Thailand.' The arrests come in the wake of a crackdown on illegal betting by police which saw 44 arrested in Wan Chai bars for allegedly placing and accepting bets on the first two games of the World Cup. Singapore and Malaysian football authorities launched far-ranging investigations into match-fixing allegation in April last year. South Korea qualified for France from Hong Kong and Thailand's group but sources close to the investigation said there was 'no evidence so far' that there were problems with their qualifying games. South Korea play their first game of the tournament against Mexico in Lyons tonight.