Give us proof: Fifa demands magazine proves claim of match-fixing
Governing body has 'substantial doubts' about alleged manipulation of Cameroon's 4-0 loss to Croatia
Fifa expressed “substantial doubts” about a German magazine’s claims that a World Cup game could have been fixed and asked the publication to provide evidence to back up its report that a renowned match-fixer accurately predicted details of the match hours before it kicked off.
Fifa said it wants Der Spiegel to provide details of all its conversations with convicted match-fixer Wilson Raj Perumal to prove its claim that Cameroon’s 4-0 loss to Croatia on June 18 may have been fixed.
“The article has put the integrity of Fifa World Cup matches in question, which is a serious allegation,” Fifa director of security Ralf Mutschke said in a statement read out at a briefing at the Maracana Stadium by spokeswoman Delia Fischer.
Fifa said it had no indication from betting markets that any of the 56 games so far at the World Cup were suspicious and has “substantial doubts about the alleged manipulation published by Der Spiegel”.
The weekly magazine claimed that Perumal told it in a Facebook chat hours before the Cameroon-Croatia group game that he knew what was going to happen.
Der Spiegel said Perumal – a Singaporean who is arguably the best-known fixer in football – correctly predicted that Croatia would win 4-0 and Cameroon would have a player sent off in the first half. Cameroon midfielder Alex Song was red-carded just before half-time.
Perumal has denied he made any such predictions.
Suspicious betting activity around a game is an indication that it may have been fixed for illegal gambling syndicates. That could include an unusually large amount of money being bet on the game or wagers being placed at unusual times during the game or on specific happenings – like a first-half red card, for example.
But Fifa said it had found no suspicious activity around Cameroon-Croatia or any other game in Brazil. Football’s world body has access to information from hundreds of betting operators through its Zurich-based EWS, or “Early Warning System”.