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Cameroon National Football Team Investigated for Match-Fixing
- July 1, 2014 By Nemanja L. -
Cameroon Football Federation (FECAFOOT) have launched an official investigation as the claims were made that seven members of country’s World Cup squad have conspired to fix a football match at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
The allegations were made by one Wilson Raj Perumal, who had been previously convicted of match fixing and was arrested in Finland in April, in German magazine Der Spiegel. He correctly predicted the result of the World Cup game between Cameroon and Croatia, while he was also right that a player would be send off.
The Indomitable Lions were defeated 4-0 by Croatia, with star player Alex Song sent off before half-time for a cynical foul on Mario Mandzukic. His teammates Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Benjamin Moukanjo were also involved in a heated argument in the final stages of the match.
“Recent allegations of fraud around Cameroon’s 2014 Fifa World Cup three preliminary games, especially Cameroon versus Croatia, as well of the ‘existence of seven bad apples (in our national team)’ do not reflect the values and principles promoted by our administration, in line with Fifa’s code of conduct and the ethics of our nation,” a statement by FECAFOOT read.
“We are strongly committed to employ all means necessary to resolve this disruptive matter in the shortest delays.”
Cameroon President Launches Official Inquiry Into Team’s Performance
Cameroon president Paul Biya has launched an investigation to determine the reasons behind the team’s disappointing performance at the tournament finals that saw the African side lose all three game, scoring just one and conceding nine goals in the process, with the match-fixing inquiry a part of this process.
The country prime minister was given a month to submit a report on team’s ‘inglorious campaign’, with the report supposed to include steps for a deep restructuring of Cameroonian football.
Meanwhile, BBC Sport has consulted a number of sources within the sports betting industry on the issue and they have learned there have been no suspicious activity regarding Cameroon’s fixtures at the 2014 World Cup, which is enough to suggest the match-fixing allegations may be false.
Row Over Bonus Payments Sign of Things to Come
Team’s preparations for the tournament finals were disrupted by the row over the player bonuses that eventually resulted in the players refusing to fly to Brazil until an agreement has been reached.
The two sides eventually found an understanding over the bonus payments, but the national team squad’s arrival in Brazil was delayed for a day.
All these circumstances seem to have affected the performance of Volker Finke’s side at the 2014 World Cup, although we should reserve final judgement for when the investigation is officially concluded.