Nigeria v Argentina the Latest Soccer Match Under Fix Suspicion
June 6, 2011
An international friendly between Nigeria and Argentina is the latest high profile soccer match to be investigated under suspicion of match-fixing following the African nation’s 4-1 home win last Wednesday, June 1, while FIFA was re-electing its president, Sepp Blatter.
FIFA said in a statement: “FIFA can confirm that this match between Nigeria and Argentina was one that we had an active interest in, and forms part of a wider ongoing FIFA investigation.
“In particular, FIFA will be working closely with colleagues at the FIFA early warning system.”
Allegations were made after two controversial penalties were awarded during the match in the Nigerian capital Abuja, the first converted by the home side’s Victor Obinna to make it 2-0 after Ikechukwu Uche had already scored.
Uche scored again before Emmanuel Emenike made it 4-0 to the African side, against an under strength Argentina team featuring just two players included in their Copa America squad before a dubious last minute penalty scored by Mauro Boselli pulled one back for Sergio Batista’s side.
It follows a number of games across the world under investigation for match fixing, including friendly games between Bulgaria and Estonia, and Latvia and Bolivia earlier this year, where all seven goals in their two games were scored from the penalty spot.
Both FIFA and UEFA have pledged to combat the wave of corruption blighting international friendlies, with world soccer’s governing body joining up with Interpol last month to pledge US$29m to the cause over the next decade.