Premium Times – Nigeria has been implicated in yet another football match-fixing scandal, with the revelation that the friendly match between the Super Eagles and North Korea on the eve of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa was doctored.
The allegation, published by the New York Times, opens a fresh can of worms in a series of claims that Nigeria has featured prominently for years in the dubious art match-rigging.
Nigeria won the friendly against the North Korean side by 3-1.
Besides the result, that match also grabbed the headlines over a stampede that occurred before the commencement of the exhibition game, as hundreds of South Africans and other fans trooped to the stadium to catch a glimpse of the Eagles.
It now turns out they were served a script worked out by a gambling syndicate.
The New York Times said South African officials allowed a notorious Singaporean syndicate, Football 4U, to pick the referee for that match.
Fixing games has serious profit implications for Asia’s largely unregulated but lucrative betting market.
Most fixed bets are placed on which team will win against the spread and on the total number of expected goals. By some estimates, the illegal betting market in Asia amounts to hundreds of billions of dollars annually, the report said.
Quoting from FIFA investigative report, the New York Times said FIFA investigators found that the referee in the Nigeria-North Korea match made several questionable calls. But investigators could not confirm whether the referee was a rogue Nigerien referee, Ibrahim Chaibou.