FIFA probes match-fixing allegation against Nigeria

The world football governing body FIFA has started investigation into a recent allegation that the Super Eagles’ 2010 World Cup qualifying matches were rigged for them.
The spokesperson for the Nigeria Football Federation, Mr. Ademola Olajire, confirmed to The PUNCH on Wednesday that they have received correspondence from FIFA on the matter.
He said, “Yes, they (FIFA) have wrote to us and both sides are collaborating to get to the root of the allegation. They said they need to watch the tapes of the matches we played throughout our qualification (for the 2010 World Cup) closely. We have forwarded the letter to our match-fixing officer (Dr. Mohammed Sanusi) and NFF’s Integrity Officer (Dr. Christian Emeruwa). All enquiries should now go to FIFA as I explained in my earlier release on the matter.”
A self-confessed and convicted Singaporean match-fixer Wilson Raj Pemural claimed in his recently released book that he helped Nigeria and Honduras to qualify for the South Africa 2010 World Cup.
According to first report made by The Guardian, Perumal claimed that the NFF promised him the right to
organise the Eagles’ pre-2010 World Cup friendlies as well as part of the money FIFA pays to help teams prepare for the tournament. He detailed a meeting with a football official in which he promised to help Nigeria qualify for the World Cup in return for free rein in organising three warm-up matches and a cut of the money FIFA provides for hosting a training camp during the tournament.
First, he claimed to influence three players on his payroll to help Nigeria to victory in one of their qualifiers. Then he claimed to have promised the Mozambique FA a $100,000 bonus if they were able to hold Tunisia to a draw and so stop Tunisia leapfrogging Nigeria and seizing automatic qualification. Mozambique secured a 1-0 victory.
“My plan had worked and I was the unsung hero of Nigeria’s qualification to the final rounds of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa,” Perumal wrote.
“Ferrying Nigeria and Honduras to the World Cup was a personal achievement. ‘F*ck,’ I considered. ‘I got two teams to qualify for the World Cup but I cannot tell anyone.’”
The NFF has since dismissed the claim made by the ex-convict calling it an attempt to tarnish the image of the country’s football and distract them from their World Cup preparations. In a statement in Abuja on Tuesday, the NFF declared that the entire claim by Perumal was nothing more than fiction and insisted that the true heroes of Nigeria’s qualification for the finals were the Federal Government, the NFF, players and coaches of the Eagles and Nigerian fans.

Source: The Punch

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