THE General Secretary of the Asian Football Confederation, Peter Velappan, has asked the Chinese Football Association to investigate allegations of match-fixing in two recent tournaments in Thailand. The allegations surround the powerful Liaoning provincial side which played in the finals of the 13th Asian Club Championship in Bangkok in January/February and the China national team which competed in the 25th King's Cup in mid-February. An official from the China Football Association in Beijing said last night that players from the two teams would be interviewed in Kunming, where the national squad is based. Speaking from the AFC headquarters in Kuala Lumpur yesterday, Velappan said: ''I received some information from independent sources that bookmakers had been influencing the results of matches involving Liaoning and the China national team. ''My sources told me that bookies were found to be staying with the team in the official hotel and that this had obviously affected the performance on the field. ''The AFC's technical experts were not satisfied with the performance of the team and concluded that both teams were obviously influenced by the bookies. ''We have informed China and asked them to investigate because we fear this problem could spread like wildfire. Now I am waiting for them to come back to me.'' Velappan added that match-fixing was a huge problem in certain countries in southeast Asia, such as Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia. The practice involves illegal bookmakers arranging the result of a match several hours before kick-off by paying off two or three key players or officials on one or both teams. Punters can then place bets on the final score, the full-time score and the number of yellow or red cards handed out, providing the opportunity for individual bets or a sequence of rolling bets. Asked why the problem had spread to China, Velappan replied: ''At the moment, China is going through an economic boom and everyone is dreaming of money. ''In a way I am not surprised by it because Thailand is another problem area. ''But what really worries me is that China, from a football point of view, is enjoying a renaissance, with a professional league, overseas players and aspirations of qualifying for the Olympic Games and for the World Cup - and you cannot have the bookies calling the shots. ''If such teams are already falling prey to this vicious disease, then it really is very serious and China has to do something drastic.'' Velappan will be visiting Hong Kong on March 16 for the following day's draws for next season's two AFC club tournaments - the Asian Club Championship and the Asian Cup Winners' Cup - and said he hoped to discuss the matter further. Liaoning, the champions of China, won through to the semi-finals of the Asian Club Championship but lost 4-1 to the Omani Club from Oman and then by the same score to Japan's Yomiuri Nippon in the play-off for third place. In the eight-team King's Cup, China, coached by German Klaus Schlappner, won, drew and lost in their four-team group and missed out on a place in the last four. Zhang Jiang, who works in the international affairs department of the Chinese FA, said: ''This information is new to me but Peter Velappan might have mentioned it to other officials. ''Possibly we will call the two teams because they are at the training centre in Kunming.''