Wednesday July 2nd, 2014

Following allegations of match-fixing leveled against Cameroon, FIFA announced on Wednesday that it has asked the German magazine responsible for the accusations to provide details that prove its claims.

Der Spiegel claimed that it had a Facebook conversation with convicted Singaporean match-fixer Raj Perumal before Cameroon's June 18 match against Croatia, in which Perumal said Cameroon would have a player sent off in the first half and would lose 4-0. Both ended up happening — Cameroon midfielder Alex Song received a red card in the first half, and Croatia won by that score.

On Tuesday, Cameroon's soccer federation announced it was investigating the allegations. At that time the federation had not heard from FIFA, but now the soccer's world governing body has gotten involved.

From The Associated Press:

FIFA director of security Ralf Mutschke said in a statement read out at a daily briefing in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday that the allegations "put the integrity of FIFA World Cup matches in question, which is a serious allegation."
Mutschke says FIFA has monitored all 56 World Cup games so far and has "no indication of any match manipulation on the betting market."

Perumal, who is currently in jail in Hungary on match-fixing charges after serving a prison sentence in Finland on a similar conviction, has denied the claims made by Der Spiegel, according to a statement he released online.

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While he did admit conversing with Der Spiegel reporter Rafael Buschmann on Facebook, Perumal said he was merely giving his educated opinion on the match and never made the direct predictions referenced by the German magazine, nor insinuated that match-fixing was involved.

From Perumal's statement, via the Daily Mail:

"I am shocked and amazed that a respected magazine such as Der Spiegel would go so far as to fabricate statements by yours truly with the visible aim of stirring the row over match-fixing."

Der Spiegel has stood by its reporting. It is unclear if the magazine will comply with FIFA's request and hand over its record of the Facebook discussions.

—Ben Estes

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