5 March 2012
Match fixing experts are investigating a world cup qualifying match in which Bahrain defeated Indonesia ten-nil. Suspicions were raised because Bahrain needed to win by a wide margin in order to reach the next round. Football's world governing body FIFA has launched an enquiry.
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The unusual scoreline immediately raised eyebrows and sparked a FIFA investigation. Bahrain needed to beat Indonesia by a nine-goal margin in Manama to stand a chance of reaching the next round of the qualification process for the 2014 World Cup.
The ten-nil rout almost sent them through as runners up in the group, but they also required Qatar to lose in Iran, a match which was drawn. Indonesia had already been eliminated, and they fielded a relatively inexperienced team, but the heavy defeat was still unexpected.
Their goalkeeper was sent off early in the game and the referee awarded the home side four penalties. FIFA, which has a special match fixing department, has pledged to crack down on corruption in the game.
Early stages of international tournaments have been identified as possible targets for illegal gambling syndicates. The Asian Football Confederation said initial reports from the match officials have indicated that nothing was suspicious.
In Indonesia anger has been directed at the team and the country's football authorities. It follows a divisive period in which a rebel elite league was created. It almost led to a FIFA ban last year.
Click to hear the vocabulary
- raised eyebrows
surprised people, perhaps in an unpleasant way
- runners up
people or team in second place
removed from the competition
- crack down
put a stop to
dishonest behaviour, especially of people in authority for profit
making you feel that something is wrong, illegal or dishonest
causing people to disagree with each other strongly