Cameroon to investigate match-fixing claims at World Cup

(Photo: MGN Online)

(Photo: MGN Online)

RIO DE JANEIRO — The Cameroon Football Association is to investigate allegations made in the German press that seven of their players were involved in match fixing during the group stages of the World Cup finals in Brazil.

The Indomitable Lions were drawn in the same pool as Croatia, Mexico and host nation Brazil, losing all three games.

A convicted match fixer spoke to German magazine Der Spiegel correctly predicting one of the results of the African 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,” a statement from the Cameroon Football Association, Fecafoot, said.

Wilson Raj Perumal, who was detained by police in Finland earlier this year on an international arrest warrant, told Der Spiegel that Cameroon would lose to Croatia while also having a player sent off.

Midfielder Alex Song was red carded during the game for lashing out at Croatia striker Mario Mandzukic while goals from Ivica Olic, Ivan Perisic and a brace from Mandzukic without reply secured a four goal victory.

The match also saw Cameroon players Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Benjamin Moukandjo aggressively confront each other. Television pictures appeared to show Assou-Ekotto attempt to head-butt Moukandjo.

The Fecafoot statement continued: “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 are strongly committed to employ all means necessary to resolve this disruptive matter in the shortest delays.”

“In the meantime, we legitimately request that any related information, unless brought before our federation and/or its Ethics Committee, be held for or treated as mere assumption.

“We wish to reinstate that in 55 years of existence, Fecafoot has never been sanctioned for, involved in, or even linked to match fixing or any fraud of any kind.”

FIFA did not immediately respond to a request to comment on the issue from CNN.

The allegations add to what was a disastrous World Cup campaign for Cameroon.

Players initially refused to board the plane to Brazil until a dispute with Fecafoot over bonus payments was resolved. Although an agreement was eventually reached, the team’s departure was delayed by a day.

An opening game 1-0 loss to Mexico was followed up by the 4-0 thrashing by Croatia. Hosts Brazil then completed the misery by defeating the four-time African Cup of Nations champion 4-1 win in the final group game.

In the aftermath of the Croatia defeat, coach Volker Finke described the behavior of some of his players as “unacceptable.”

“Some players behaved very badly, and that’s why we have conceded four goals,” Finke said to L’Equipe. “I know that it is difficult to play with ten men, but that is not a reason to lose it to this point.

“The game was balanced until the red card. The Croatians were more clinical in front of goal, but Cameroon also had chances to score. The behavior of some of the players is really not satisfactory. Even when we were 11-a-side, it was not acceptable.”