Press Office

Wednesday 29 Oct 2014

Press Releases

Fifa warned over Nigeria World Cup match-fixing fears

Fifa was warned before this year's World Cup of fears Nigeria's team could be vulnerable to match-fixing, BBC Newsnight has learned.

A Uefa investigator in South Africa raised concerns, including over betting patterns.

Nigeria went out of the tournament in the first round, losing to Greece.

In a statement to Newsnight, Fifa did not deny getting a warning but say they have "no indication" of match-fixing in any World Cup matches in South Africa.

Newsnight understands a member of Uefa's Disciplinary Services Unit – which is responsible for investigating match-fixing – first became suspicious during qualifying rounds of the World Cup and it is alleged that certain Nigerian players came forward and said their team was vulnerable to manipulation.

On the morning of Nigeria's first match, he alerted Fifa's new Early Warning System, set up to look for signs of match-rigging, of his concerns.

German journalist Christian Bergmann also had a call just before the first Nigerian game of the tournament from a Uefa contact, who said there were suggestions that "some players from the Nigerian team are actually involved in some form of manipulation".

In their second game of the tournament, Nigeria were strong favourites to beat Greece and took an early 1-0 lead.

But, after just 33 minutes, Nigeria had a man sent off and Greece scored their first-ever World Cup goals to win 2-1.

After their elimination, Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan was so angry with the team's poor performances that he suspended the whole team from international competition. He later reversed that decision following a complaint from Fifa.

Notes to Editors

Any use of information in this release must credit BBC Two's Newsnight.

Watch the full report on BBC Two's Newsnight at 10.30pm.


To top

Press releases by date:

Press release by:

Related BBC links

Related web links

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.