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Rediff.com  » Sports » World Cup chit-chat: Cameroon players under scanner after match-fixing claims

World Cup chit-chat: Cameroon players under scanner after match-fixing claims

Last updated on: July 01, 2014 14:09 IST

World Cup chit-chat: Cameroon players under scanner after match-fixing claims

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Cameroon are to investigate claims that seven of their players were involved in match-fixing at the World Cup, the country's football federation FECAFOOT said on Monday.

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FECAFOOT said it had instructed its ethics committee to probe allegations of what it described as “fraud” in their three games in Brazil, particularly a 4-0 loss to Croatia in Manaus in their second Group A game.

“Recent allegations of fraud around Cameroon’s three 2014 World Cup games, especially Cameroon v Croatia, as well the existence of “seven bad apples (in our national team)” do not reflect the values and principles promoted by our administration," FECAFOOT said in a statement.

“We wish to inform the general public that, though not yet contacted by FIFA in regards to this affair, our administration has already instructed its Ethics Committee to further investigate these accusations.

“We are strongly committed to employ all means necessary to resolve this disruptive matter with the shortest delay,” FECAFOOT's interim president Joseph Owona said.

The allegations against Cameroon came from convicted fraudster Wilson Raj Perumal, who had accurately forecast the result and the fact a player would be sent off in a discussion with German magazine Der Spiegel.

Cameroon midfielder Alex Song was sent off before halftime for a needless elbow in the back of Croatia’s Mario Mandzukic near the halfway line, leaving his side to battle with 10 men for the majority of the game.

The game was also marred by an incident near the end when Benoit Assou-Ekotto attempted to head-butt team mate Benjamin Moukandjo.

Cameroon’s federation subsequently launched an investigation into the incident but has yet to give any update on possible disciplinary action.

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Image: Cameroon's Achille Weboc ,centre, tries to separate teammates Benjamin Moukandjo, left, and Benoit Assou-Ekotto as they argue during their Group A match against Croatia
Photographs: Murad Sezer/Reuters

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Vermaelen out, Kompany doubtful for Belgium

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Thomas Vermaelen will miss Belgium’s World Cup last-16 match against the United States on Tuesday while captain Vincent Kompany will undergo a late fitness test, coach Marc Wilmots said on Monday.

Vermaelen has not recovered from a hamstring injury while fellow defender Kompany’s participation in the knockout round game at Salvador’s Fonte Nova arena is in doubt as he battles with a groin problem.

Kompany did train with the team on Monday but Wilmots said he will wait until Tuesday morning to see if the injury flares up again.

“There is a good chance we can make it. I know this kind of injury. I played for a year with a similar injury,” he told a news conference.

Toby Alderweireld will replace Vermaelen, who should be fit for the quarter-final if Belgium make it, and Nicolas Lombaerts would come in for Kompany.

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Image: Thomas Vermaelen of Belgium receives treatment during warm ups prior to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group H match between Belgium and Russia at Maracana on June 22
Photographs: Clive Rose/Getty Images

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Injured Neymar should be fit for Colombia quarter-final

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Brazil striker Neymar may be spared from training to give his thigh and knee injuries a chance to heal but he is expected to be fit for Friday’s World Cup quarter-final against Colombia, team doctor Jose Luiz Runco said on Monday.

The Barcelona striker was ineffective during much of Brazil's last-16 win over Chile after he suffered early knocks on the right knee and left thigh.

However, although he left the field for treatment, he played on and scored Brazil's final penalty in the 3-2 shootout win after the match ended 1-1 after extra time.

Manager Luiz Felipe Scolari said the injuries were the reason for his unusually quiet showing and the 22-year old will be allowed to miss training if necessary.

Scolari spared most of the first team from training on Monday, preferring to have them do light gym work at the squad's base in Teresopolis, around 100 kilometres from Rio de Janeiro.

Goalkeeper Julio Cesar, who was the hero of the win after saving two Chilean penalties, was the only first-choice player to train, alongside fellow keepers Victor and Jefferson.

Runco said defender David Luiz, who passed a late fitness test on a sore back before the Chile game, had “recovered well” and was practically 100 percent fit again.

The team's only other injury concern is Luiz Gustavo, who Runco said is complaining of a sore knee. However, the midfielder will miss the next game after picking up two yellow cards and so has time to recover.

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Image: Neymar of Brazil
Photographs: Ian Walton/Getty Images

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Brazil official suspended over Chile tunnel clash

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Brazil's senior press official has been given a one-match ban for his role in a flare-up in the tunnel at halftime during the World Cup last-16 match against Chile on Saturday as the dispute continued to rumble on Monday.

"He has been suspended for one match," a FIFA spokeswoman said when asked for an update on the case involving Brazil spokesman Rodrigo Paiva. He has been accused by one of Chile's players of punching him in the face.

The spokeswoman said the punishment was automatically applied after Paiva was sent off by the match referee. The case is being considered by the organisation's Disciplinary Committee which could hit Paiva with a longer ban.

Paiva said after the match, which Brazil won on penalties, that there was a scuffle with Chile striker Mauricio Pinilla at halftime and that he shoved him in self-defence.

Pinilla said Paiva's punishment should be much harsher.

"I demand that FIFA give Rodrigo Paiva an exemplary punishment just like the one imposed on my colleague (Uruguay striker) Suarez…!!! This is even more serious.! There are images,” Pinilla tweeted on his official account @pinigol51

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Image: Rodrigo Paiva
Photographs: Michael Regan/Getty Images

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Boetang hits out at Ghana football

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The fallout from Ghana's disastrous World Cup continued, with midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng saying preparations had been a "nightmare". Ghana exited with one point in three games and Boateng was suspended for a row with his coach.

"I would have never thought a World Cup preparation could be organised that badly. Everything was amateurish," he said.

The midfielder and teammate Sulley Muntari were suspended from Ghana's World Cup team on Wednesday after they clashed with coach Kwesi Appiah and a soccer federation (GFA) official.

Boateng was sanctioned following "vulgar verbal insults targeted at coach Kwesi Appiah during the team's training session in Maceio this week," the GFA had said.


Image: Kevin-Prince Boateng of Ghana
Photographs: Martin Rose/Getty Images

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