FIFA is to investigate Bahrain’s 10-0 Asian World Cup qualifying win over Indonesia in what it called a ‘routine examination’ based on the ‘usual outcome’ of the game.
Bahrain had needed a nine-goal win to qualify in the Asian Group E match, while they also required Iran to beat Qatar. Ultimately, an 86th-minute goal gave Qatar a 2-2 draw to clinch second place in the group at Bahrain’s expense, but FIFA is still looking into the game.
“Given the unusual outcome in relation to the results-expectation and head-to-head history, and in the interests of maintaining unequivocal confidence in our game, FIFA Security will conduct a routine examination of this game and its result,” FIFA said in a statement.
Indonesia, who were already eliminated, fielded a weakened team because some of their star players have been suspended for taking part in the breakaway Indonesian Super League (ISL).
Lebanese referee Andre El Hadded sent off Indonesia goalkeeper Samsidar after two minutes, while Bahrain converted two penalties during the match.
Prince Ali of Jordan, FIFA’s Asian vice-president told reporters he could not comment directly on the match, but added: “Match fixing is a huge issue that needs to be tackled … we will have to see what the investigation comes out with.
“But it has to be taken very seriously, regardless of what region it is played in. It is a world issue, not just simply in the Asian region. Many times you see those involved are a step ahead. We need to put as many resources as we can into this aspect of football and support those who are dealing with it in FIFA.
“The important thing is that if there are suspicions you have to investigate it. It might just be a coincidence, however there might be something behind it. Regardless, it can happen in any country in the world.”
by Ismail Uddin