Mon, Jan 28, 2008 - Page 18 News List

Shadow of match-fixing lengthens at African Cup


The match-fixing shadow over the Africa Cup of Nations lengthened on Saturday with Namibia revealing they were approached to "throw" their next game against Guinea.

The players were reportedly offered US$30,000 each from a man claiming to represent a betting syndicate.

The team, who have no hope of making the quarter-finals after defeats to Ghana and Morocco, alerted national soccer association president John Muinjo who has passed the matter on to the Confederation of African Football (CAF).

This is the second reported incident of attempted match rigging in Ghana following Benin coach Reinhard Fabisch's claim that he had been approached by a Singapore-based syndicate last Saturday.

CAF official Soulemine Habouba said: "Our disciplinary body is investigating the Benin case and in the other we are waiting for details from Namibia before starting an official inquiry."

Muinjo was quick to praise the Namibia players for contacting him.

"I'm very proud that my players came to see me straight away," he told the BBC.

"I warned them about the impact accepting these sorts of offers could have on their careers. They are a team who believe in fair play," he said.

Explaining the circumstances of the approach he reported: "My players were approached by a man saying he represented a syndicate and offered them money to lose the game [which takes place today]. The players came to me immediately to tell me and we've informed CAF of what has happened."

"The players were offered up to US$30,000 to lose the game," he said. "They were offered half in advance but told they had to be able during the game to manipulate the score on the instructions of the syndicate."

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