Convicted match-fixer Wilson Raj Perumal has denied correctly predicting the result of the World Cup Group A match between Cameroon and Croatia.
Fifa president Sepp Blatter has confirmed he has been informed of allegations surrounding the match, while the Cameroon football federation (FECARFOOT) announced its ethics committee will probe fraud claims in all three of their nation’s matches.
German magazine Der Spiegel reported that Perumal correctly predicted the result — a 4-0 defeat against Croatia and that a player would be sent off in the first half — in a Facebook discussion with a journalist before the game.
Not only was the scoreline correct, but Cameroon’s Barcelona midfielder Alex Song was sent off before half-time for elbowing Croatia’s Mario Mandzukic.
But Perumal issued a statement on the investigative journalism website Invisible Dog, in which he claimed the conversation in question had taken place after the match had finished.
Perumal said: “Contrary to the ‘revelations’ published by the German weekly Der Spiegel that were picked up by news outlets worldwide, I did not predict the result of the Cameroon vs Croatia match played on June 18, 2014.
“The Facebook chat with the Der Spiegel journalist took place a few days after the match — June 21st, as confirmed by my Facebook log — and was but an informal assessment of the behaviour of the Cameroon team at the Brazil 2014 World Cup after they had played two of their three group stage matches, including the one with Croatia.
“At no time did I make reference to four goals being scored or to a red card being issued. At no time did I suggest that I had any way of corroborating or substantiating what was meant to be an educated guess based on my extensive match-fixing experience. Last but not least: at no time was I informed by the Der Spiegel journalist that our chat was going to end up in the German publication.
“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.
“I apologise to the Cameroon FA and to its fans if I inadvertently offended them; it was not my intention. I strongly believe that Der Spiegel should also do the same since they placed words in my mouth that I did not utter.”
Fifa’s security department is believed to be looking into the claims, although this was neither confirmed nor denied by Fifa’s head of media Delia Fischer.
Meanwhile, Blatter said he was waiting for the outcome of an investigation.
He said: “Yes I have been told about this but let them do their work on this investigation.”
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