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Saturday 21 October 2017

Blatter: FIFA will probe Cameroon 'fixing' rumours

Sepp Blatter
Sepp Blatter

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has confirmed he has been informed of allegations that Cameroon players were involved in match-fixing at the World Cup.

The allegations strike at the heart of the World Cup's integrity and Blatter said he was waiting for the outcome of an investigation. The Cameroon football federation (FECAFOOT) has announced its ethics committee will probe allegations of fraud in three Group A matches, particularly the 4-0 defeat to Croatia on June 18 in Manaus.

FIFA's security department is also believed to be looking into the claims.

Blatter told Press Association Sport in Rio de Janeiro: "Yes I have been told about this but let them do their work on this investigation."

Cameroon headed home from the World Cup after losing against Brazil and Mexico, as well as Croatia, to finish bottom of Group A.

German magazine Der Spiegel 
revealed that convicted match-fixer Wilson Raj Perumal correctly predicted the result - a 4-0 defeat against Croatia and that a player would be sent off in the first half - in a Facebook discussion with a journalist before the game. Not only was the scoreline correct, but Cameroon's Barcelona midfielder Alex Song was sent off before half-time for elbowing Croatia's Mario Mandzukic.

The game was also marred by an incident deep into the second half as Benoit Assou-Ekotto looked like he tried to head-butt team-mate Benjamin Moukandjo.

FIFA's head of media Delia Fischer would not confirm or deny whether its security department - which is made up of former police officers - has also launched an investigation, but it would be unthinkable for it not to have done so and left it for the Cameroon federation to investigate its own players.

The FECAFOOT statement read: "Recent allegations of fraud around Cameroon 2014 FIFA World Cup three preliminary games, especially Cameroon vs. 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 code of conduct and the ethics of our nation.

"We wish to inform the general public that, though not yet contacted by FIFA in regards to this affair, our administration has already instructed its ethics committee, to further investigate these accusations."

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