6 January 2013

Nigeria: Eagles Tie Fixed - FIFA

The Federation International Football Association (FIFA) has stated that it believe a 2010 World Cup warm-up match between Nigeria and North Korea in June 2010 could have been pre-arranged.

The match was played on June 6 at the Makhulong Stadium in Tembisa, outside Johannesburg, and Nigeria won the game 3-1.

In a report on behalf of FIFA security team, Terry Steans alleged that the match officials led by Niger referee Ibrahim Chaibou were chosen by convicted Singaporean match-fixer Wilson Perumal and his Football 4U organisation.

Perumal is believed by both FIFA and Interpol of fixing matches in several countries, standing to make hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegal profits.

The match-fixing report, which was handed to South Africa Football Association (SAFA), said the Niger referee gave a harsh penalty against North Korea even when it seemed that the Korean defender did not commit an offence.

Obinna Nsofor stepped forward to score the resulting penalty in the 62nd minute and double the Eagles lead after Yakubu Aiyegbeni had put Nigeria in front.

Interestingly, Chaibou was also at the centre in another Eagles friendly which has also been listed by FIFA as "suspicious".

Nigeria beat Argentina 4-1 in June 2011 in Abuja with several questionable calls by the Niger referee.

Spokesman for the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Ademola Olajire, told MTNFootball.com that NFF was unaware of the allegation and yet to be communicated on it.

"We have not been communicated by FIFA on such, so until we get that, we cannot comment about any allegations," Olajire maintained.

In South Africa, the South Africa Football Association (SAFA) leadership led by president Kirsten Nematandani has been reinstated.

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