Yesterday's match-fixing claims against Cameroon at the World Cup add to the list of controversies that have smeared Africa's reputation here. Nigeria & Ghana erred too
Fixing claims haunt cameroon
Cameroon football chiefs yesterday said they are determined to uproot the seven players they termed as ‘bad apples’ implicated in an alleged match-fixing scandal over their World Cup group tie with Croatia.
Alex Song of Cameroon is shown a red card by referee Pedro Proenca against Croatia in Manaus. Pic/Getty Images.
“Recent allegations of fraud around Cameroon’s three World Cup preliminary games, especially Cameroon versus Croatia, as well of the ‘existence of seven bad apples’ do not reflect our values,” the federation said in a statement.
Ghana, Nigeria strike over pay
On Wednesday last week, the Ghana government airlifted more than three million dollars in cash to Brazil to stop protests by players ahead of their crunch game against Portugal. However, speaking after a player meeting, midfielder Christian Atsu said there was no question of any fallout out from the financial dispute.
Nigeria too engaged in some player protests or impromptu negotiations with their football federation over the money question.
Cameroon's Alex sees red
Adding to Cameroon’s woes, midfielder Alex Song was handed a three-match World Cup ban after his sending off against Croatia. The Barcelona star was shown a straight red card in the 4-0 Group A thrashing for striking forward Mario Mandzukic in the back with his elbow in an off-the-ball incident.
FIFA issued the 26-year-old with a three-match suspension for breaching 48 par. 1 (d) of its Disciplinary Code, which related to ‘assaulting (elbowing, punching, kicking etc.) an opponent or a person other than a match official’, as well as a a whopping £13,000 fine.
Infighting within team
Cameroon left-back Benoit Assou-Ekotto attempted to head-butt team-mate Benjamin Moukandjo after an attack broke down in the Group A encounter against Croatia.
This led the ‘Indomitable Lions’ veteran German coach Volker Finke to label their behaviour as unacceptable. The pair were seen arguing in injury time as well and the incident almost continued in the tunnel but for injured striker Samuel Eto’o’s intervention. He stepped in Assou-Ekotto’s way to keep the players away. No wonder why Cameroon cut such a sorry figure.
Muntari, Boateng packed off
Ghana stars Sulley Muntari and Kevin-Prince Boateng were indefinitely suspended from their country’s World Cup squad after bust-ups with management, the Ghana Football Association (GFA) said last Thursday.
Muntari was accused of attacking a member of the management team, Moses Armah, while Boateng was said to have verbally abused coach Kwesi Appiah, the GFA added.
The news came just one day after the Ghana government airlifted $3 million to Brazil.