Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Ghana Denies Match Fixing Allegations

In yesterday's post, we talked about allegations that the 2006 World Cup match between Brazil and Ghana was fixed.

Today, a strong statement by the Ghana Football Association (GFA), who say they are going to take legal action against Canadian author Declan Hill and his publishers over claims the Black Stars 2006 World Cup clash with Brazil was fixed.

The GFA is denying claims made in Hill's book 'The Fix' that has been serialized in the German news magazine Der Spiegel.

The claims are that an Asian betting syndicate influenced the result which led to Ghana's 3-0 loss to Brazil in the second round in Germany.

The football association has also lodged a complaint with the Ghana Police Service to investigate the matter in view of the allegations made against the FA and players of the senior team.

"Without prejudice to the foregoing, we have decided to seek the advice of our lawyers on any further cause of action that may be available against Declan Hill, and publishers of the defamatory statements."

Randy Abbey, a GFA spokesman, said that as much as it was a serious allegation, the FA would not jump to hasty conclusions but will read the book before investigating.

"We have to investigate the matter because it is a very serious allegation on the credibility of our country and our players," Abbey said in an interview.

"Since we are yet to read the book to know its detailed contents with regards to Ghana, making any definite conclusions would be jumping the gun, but we are not taking it lightly despite we being innocent."

The book has accused players of the Black Stars of taking less than US$1,000 each to lose the game against Brazil, a claim Abbey describes as a bizarre and serious indictment on the integrity of Ghana's world star players who featured in the match.

"It is unbelieveable that our world-class players who have served Ghana with integrity all along would throw a game for less than US$1,000 each when they stood the chance of getting US$700,000 collectively for winning the game. We have not had any such experience with our players in the past, and those making these allegations should be ready to face the music if it is found to be a hoax."

Hill claims in his book that large sums of money had been bet on Brazil winning by at least two goals, and a former Ghana international acted as an intermediary.

His work, which took three years to be published and which saw him visiting Ghana, said the research showed that a former Ghana international, Abubakari Damba, had acted as the middleman between Ghana's players and the head of a betting syndicate in Bangkok.

Declan also made inquiries about reports that some betting agents had tried to infiltrate Ghana's senior female football side, the Black Queens camp during their World Cup campaign in China last year.

MY POV: A strong declaration by the GFA. Really, what choice did they have? They needed to say something.

Still, an internal investigation needs to take place. Maybe some FIFA monitoring and maybe some independent council to further investigate are in order

Honestly, is anyone surprised? Not that Ghana is involved, but that match fixing takes place?
Let's hope these allegations are proven incorrect, for the good of the game.

1 comment:

martin said...

For this matter to be solved requires the attention of interpol, Scotland Yard and various countries security agencies. Match fixing takes the fun out the game just as sportsmen using performance enhancing drugs do to any sports.
I'm afraid FIFA may not take this story seriously. Even though the investigations may hurt some countries and individual players, the truth must come out.