See and Be seen

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

NFF denies World Cup match-fixing

President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Alhaji Aminu Maigari

The Nigeria Football Federation has dismissed as completely untrue, the claim by a convicted Singaporean match-fixer, Wilson Raj Perumal, that he helped Nigeria qualify for the 2010 FIFA World Cup finals in South Africa.

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 2010 FIFA World Cup finals were the Federal Government, the NFF, players and coaches of the Super Eagles and Nigerian fans.

The NFF General Secretary Musa Amadu said, “We have gone through the fictitious write-up by the Singaporean, who was fittingly convicted for his nefarious activities and has spent time in jail. The NFF will only say at this moment that there was no truth to the claim and that we had nothing to do with Perumal all through the Super Eagles’ qualifying series for 2010 FIFA World Cup.

“We have ordered for the book itself with a view to digesting it and looking critically at it. If the book impugns on the image of the Nigeria Football Federation, our players and the larger image of our dear country, we will take appropriate action.”

According to The Guardian, Perumal said that the Nigeria Football Federation 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 reportedly 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 have influenced three players on his payroll to help Nigeria to victory in one of their qualifiers.

Then he claimed that he 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 an unlikely 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 in his book.

“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.’”

Amadu insists that further enquiries should be directed to world football-governing body, FIFA, since the match was a FIFA competition qualifier.

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