Cameroon’s Fédération Camerounaise de Football, or FECAFOOT, the country’s governing body for soccer, announced Monday that it would investigate allegations that seven players on the national team were involved in match-fixing at the World Cup in Brazil.
According to FECAFOOT, its ethics committee has been instructed to probe the claims made in reference to three Group A games, particularly the 4-0 loss to Croatia on June 18 in Manaus, capital city of Amazonas state in northern Brazil. Cameroon, who lost their first group game against Mexico on June 13, were knocked out of the tournament after their 4-1 defeat to Brazil on June 23.
“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,” Joseph Owona, FECAFOOT’s interim president, said in a statement.
The announcement came after Der Spiegel, a German magazine, reported that a convicted Singaporean match-fixer called Wilson Raj Perumal accurately predicted the result of the game against Croatia. Perumal also predicted that a player would be given a red card in the first half of the game.
Don't mess with Alex Song! https://t.co/DFNJVGCNPZ
— ESPN TFC (@ESPNTrollFC) June 24, 2014
In the first half of the game, Cameroon midfielder Alex Song was sent off for an intentional elbow to the back of Croatia's Mario Mandzukic. The game was also marked by an incident toward the end when Cameroon’s defender Benoit Assou-Ekotto tried to head-butt his teammate Benjamin Moukandjo, Reuters reported, adding that FECAFOOT is yet to provide an update on the investigation it launched following the incident.
“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,” Owona said, in the statement. “We wish to reinstate that in fifty-five (55) years of existence, FECAFOOT has never been sanctioned for, involved in, or even linked to match fixing or any fraud of any kind.”