Cameroon match-fixing allegations: 3 things to know
Cameroon's 4-0 loss to Croatia at heart of investigation
There are reports that Cameroon's team at the FIFA World Cup may have been involved in a match-fixing scandal. Here are three things to know about the developing story:
1. Something seemed fishy about Cameroon's 4-0 loss to Croatia
Cameroon lost all three matches of the Group stage, but the team's second match against Croatia is raising the most suspicion.
German magazine Der Spiegel alleged that hours before the Cameroon-Croatia a convicted match fixer, Wilson Raj Perumal, correctly predicted the outcome and that Cameroon would have a player sent off in the first half.
Cameroon midfielder Alex Song was given a red card just moments before halftime when he elbowed Croatia striker Mario Mandzukic in the back — away from the ball.
Perumal denies having made the prediction.
"I am shocked and amazed that a respected magazine such as Der Spiegel would go so far as to fabricate statements by yours truly with the visible aim of stirring the row over match-fixing," he said.
Perumal is currently serving jail time for a previous match-fixing conviction and recently testified at a match-fixing trial in Hungary. He wouldn't divulge his source for the details on the Cameroon-Croatia match.
He is also at the centre of match-fixing allegations surrounding South Africa's team in the buildup to the last World Cup in 2010.
2. Fecafoot has launched an investigation
Cameroon's football federation, known as Fecafoot, appears to be taking these allegations seriously. It has launched an investigation and asked FIFA's ethics committee to look into it.
FIFA has not commented on the matter.
3. Cameroon's team in disarray
Perumal also mentioned the existence of "seven bad apples" on the Cameroon team to Der Speigel. Fecafoot commented directly on this and said it's part of the overall investigation.
In the match against Croatia, there was an on-field fight between two Cameroon teammates, Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Benjamin Moukandjo. It ended with Assou-Ekotto headbutting Moukandjo.
Cameroon's players also threatened to strike before the tournament over a dispute around bonus payments.
The Cameroon government has also called a national inquiry into the team's World Cup failure.
With files from The Associated Press