World Cup: Cameroon to Investigate Match Fixing Claims

AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

The African country's team, known as the Indomitable Lions, was surrounded by controversy even before the tournament began.

LONDON – ‎Cameroon soccer officials will investigate claims that seven of the national team's players were involved in match fixing at the World Cup in Brazil.

German news magazine Der Spiegel reported the claims against the African team by a convicted match fixer from Singapore.
He had predicted the exact result of the Cameroon-Croatia game, including a red card, and had spoken of "seven bad apples" on the team.

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Cameroon exited the World Cup after losing all its games in the group stage. After a 1-0 defeat to Mexico, the team lost ‎4-0 to Croatia and 4-1 to Brazil.

‎The Croatia game has drawn attention, as star player Alex Song was sent off with a red card and two teammates clashed during the match.

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"Recent allegations of fraud around Cameroon's 2014 FIFA World Cup three preliminary games, especially Cameroon versus Croatia, as well of the 'existence of seven bad apples' [on the team] do not reflect the values and principles promoted by our administration in line with FIFA's code of conduct and the ethics of our nation," Cameroon's soccer governing body said in a statement, according to the BBC.

It added: "We are strongly committed to [employing] all means necessary to resolve this disruptive matter [with] the shortest delays."

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‎World soccer governing body FIFA said: "The integrity of the game is a top priority for FIFA, and as such we take any allegations of match manipulation very seriously."

Cameroon's soccer team, known as the Indomitable Lions, was surrounded by controversy even before the World Cup. The playe‎rs refused to board a plane to Brazil amid a dispute over bonus payments. An agreement was reached, but the journey was delayed for almost a day.

Twitter: @georgszalai