Cameroon Investigates World Cup Fixing Claim

A notorious match-fixer reportedly predicted exactly what would happen in one of last week’s World Cup games. Cameroon is investigating claims that players lost in exchange for cash.

Clive Mason/FIFA, via Getty

Cameroon was easily the worst team at the World Cup. It lost every game, scored one goal, conceded nine, and had a player sent off for a bizarre elbow attack.

It was a fiasco, but were some of the players screwing up on purpose?

Cameroon’s football association has launched an investigation into claims that a group of its players conspired to lose deliberately.

Wilson Raj Perumal, a convicted match-fixer, correctly predicted the exact outcome of Cameroon’s game against Croatia. German newspaper Der Spiegel reports the former member of a Singaporean gambling syndicate sent them a Facebook message a few hours before the game in which he accurately forecast that Cameroon would lose 4-0 and have a player sent off. “In this team there are seven bad apples,” he reportedly said.

The African team’s performance in the game was abject, but the elbow smash by Alex Song, which reduced them to 10 men when it was only 1-0, was extraordinary. Described as “bafflingly idiotic” at the time, he crashed his elbow into the back of a Croatian running just ahead of him in clear view of the referee.

At the end of the match Benoît Assou-Ekotto, who had confronted a colleague during the game, had to be physically restrained by Cameroon’s captain Samuel Eto’o as he tried to argue with his teammates on the sidelines.

FECAFOOT, Cameroonian football’s governing body, said it has launched an investigation into claims that a significant group of players within the squad were involved in a fraudulent plot to throw games.

"Recent allegations of fraud around Cameroon 2014 FIFA World Cup three preliminary games, especially Cameroon vs. Croatia, as well of the "existence of seven bad apples” do not reflect the values and principles promoted by our administration, in line with FIFA Code of Conduct and the ethics of our nation,” a statement read.

"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… In the meantime we legitimately request that any related information, unless brought before our federation and/or its Ethics Committee, be held for or treated as mere assumption. We wish to reinstate that in 55 years of existence, FECAFOOT has never been sanctioned for, involved in, or even linked to match fixing or any fraud of any kind."

Cameroon’s awful World Cup also began in farce when the squad refused to board the flight to Brazil until FECAFOOT agreed to increase the fees paid to the players for taking part in the tournament.