Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 3rd 2014 Contents A76
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, July 3, 2014
RIO DE JANEIRO---FIFA expressed
"substantial doubts" Wednesday
about a German magazine s claims
that a World Cup game could have
been fixed and asked it to provide
evidence to back up its report.
FIFA said it has asked Der Spiegel
to provide details of all its conversa-
tions with convicted match-fixer Wil-
son Raj Perumal to prove its claim
that Cameroon s 4-0 loss to Croatia
may have been fixed.
"The article has put the integrity
of FIFA World Cup matches in ques-
tion, which is a serious allegation,"
FIFA director of security Ralf Mutschke
said in a statement read out at a daily
briefing by spokeswoman Delia Fis-
FIFA said it had no indication from
betting markets that any of the 56
games so far at the World Cup had
been manipulated. It said it had "sub-
stantial doubts" about weekly mag-
azine Der Spiegel s claim that Perumal
told it in an online chat hours before
the Cameroon-Croatia group game
on June 18 that he knew what was
going to happen.
Der Spiegel said that Perumal --- a
Singaporean who is arguably the best-
known fixer in football --- correctly
predicted that Croatia would win 4-
0 and Cameroon would have a player
sent off in the first half. Cameroon
midfielder Alex Song was red-carded
just before halftime.
Perumal denied he made any such
prediction, saying in a statement that
his Facebook chat with a Der Spiegel
reporter about Cameroon s team took
place three days after the game and
not hours before it, as the magazine
The authors of Perumal s biography
sent copies of the chat to The Asso-
ciated Press where it was dated June
21.The Der Spiegel reporter whose
name was published with the story,
Rafael Buschmann, insisted the report
was accurate, writing in an email to
the AP: "We firmly stand by our asser-
tion that Mr Perumal wrote in a Face-
book chat with der Spiegel some hours
before the world cup match Croatia
vs Cameroon, that the result of the
match will be a 4-0-victory for Croa-
tia and that a player of Cameroon will
get a red card in the first halftime."
Buschmann didn t respond to phone
calls and emails to also provide copies
of the conversation.
The story grabbed attention because
of Perumal s match-fixing history. He
was jailed in Finland for paying players
to fix games and is suspected of fixing
games in other continents, including
Africa. He is believed to be behind
fixed matches involving South Africa s
national team in the weeks before the
last World Cup in 2010, where corrupt
referees are thought to have manip-
ulated the games for illegal betting
Der Spiegel s claims even prompted
the Cameroon football federation to
open an official investigation into pos-
sible match-fixing by its players. Peru-
mal did say in the Facebook chat that
seven Cameroon players were "rotten
apples" and the team was "on the
take." However, in his later statement
he said that was only an "educated
Cameroon lost all three of its games
at the World Cup: 1-0 to Mexico, 4-
0 to Croatia and 4-1 to host Brazil.
FIFA said that, so far, no game at
the World Cup had raised suspicions.
"As mentioned on various occa-
sions, FIFA has carefully monitored
all 56 games to date and will continue
to monitor the remaining eight match-
es of the 2014 FIFA World Cup,"
Mutschke s statement said. "So far,
we have found no indication of any
match manipulation on the betting
market in relation to any of the 2014
FIFA World Cup matches."
FIFA asked Der Spiegel for "all their
communications with Perumal and
any other material they claim to pos-
sess in order to prove the allegation
they have made in public."
Former France and Liverpool coach
Gerard Houllier, who is a member of
FIFA s technical study group, also said
that group had seen no indication of
fixing at the World Cup. (AP)
FIFA asks magazine for
proof of match-fixing
Cameroon's Pierre Webo, right, and Croatia's Darijo Srna battle for the ball
during the group A World Cup soccer match between Cameroon and Croatia at
the Arena da Amazonia in Manaus, Brazil, on June 18. AP PHOTO
FORTALEZA---Neymar is tired of all this talk about
the pressure of playing the World Cup at home.
He guarantees Brazil is emotionally ready for the
challenge. Just two days before Brazil plays Colom-
bia in the quarterfinals, Neymar downplayed con-
cerns about the team s emotional state and said
"all players are prepared."
The hosts showed their nerves when Brazil nar-
rowly avoided elimination in a difficult match against
Chile in the second round --- many of them crying
after a penalty shootout --- prompting the team s
psychologist to be rushed to the training camp to
talk to the players.
Neymar is not worried, though, and says it s all
under control with the five-time world champions.
"Nobody is struggling emotionally," the 22-year-
old Barcelona forward said yesterday. "All players
are doing well and are prepared to play against
Colombia and hopefully we will advance to the next
Neymar was one of the players who dropped to
the field in tears when the penalty shootout against
Chile was over last week. Some were crying even
before the shootout, including goalkeeper Julio Cesar
and captain Thiago Silva.
Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari has already acknowledged
that a lack of experience could be hurting Brazil s
young squad, and said the team s struggles could
be partially blamed on the pressure of needing to
succeed in front of the home fans.
"What happened is that it was a very emotional
match against Chile, it was very difficult," Neymar
said. "I was very moved, it s natural. Each player
deals with his emotions differently."
The team s psychologist talked to all the players
when Brazil began its World Cup preparations, but
Scolari brought her back to the training camp after
the problems against Chile.
Neymar said the psychologist "has helped," but
it s not what s going to make a difference on whether
Brazil wins or loses.
"We just have to play football," he said. "We have
to get on the field and play football. The pressure
of playing in a World Cup will always be there."
Neymar has been decisive for Brazil so far, scoring
four goals in the first four matches. He is one of the
Brazilian players with a yellow card, and another
against Colombia would sideline him from the semi-
finals if the team advances.
Neymar sustained thigh and knee injuries against
Chile but has been practicing with the rest of the
squad. He said he is physically fit for Friday s match
at the Arena Castelao in the northeastern city of
"I m fine," he said. "I m not in pain at all." (AP)
Brazil's Willian, right, David Luiz and Neymar celebrate after the World Cup round of 16 soccer match
between Brazil and Chile at the Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, on Saturday. Brazil won 3-2 on
penalties. Brazil won 3-2 on penalties. AP PHOTO
to face Colombia
Links Archive July 2nd 2014 July 4th 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page