Nigeria FA launch match-fixing investigation after viral penalty shoot-out video
Talk about making it obvious
Nigeria's Football Association are set to launch an investigation amid match-fixing allegations after footage of a penalty shootout went viral on social media.
Ijebu United defeated Remo Stars 3-0 on penalties to win the Ogun State Cup final - a regional tournament where both finalists qualify for the National FA Cup competition.
However, in the shootout, Remo Stars' goalkeeper appeared to stand still and let his opponents score, while his teammate smashed their spot-kicks wide of the goal. Sources close to the team claim that they deliberately aimed to lose the shootout as an act of protest after what they perceived to be poor officiating during the match.
If this isn’t Match Fixing, then I don’t know what it is.
Why is Nigerian football like this? Why don’t we ever want progress??
This is Ogun State FA Cup final between Remo Stars and Ijebu United 💔💔
— Ibukun Aluko (@IbkSports) July 14, 2022
The national federation's general secretary, Mohammed Sanusi, insisted that an investigation will be opened, describing the footage as "embarrassing".
While a Remo Stars source told EPSN that it was in fact an act of protest, they also suggested that the team regret their decision not to compete.
"Our club has been constantly treated poorly by the FA, and we did not even want to enter for this competition but we were prevailed upon to enter for it," the unnamed source said.
"At the final, the referee made some dodgy calls, even denying us what was a clear penalty kick.
"The referee wanted the game to go to penalties, he signalled just one minute of additional time. That was the last straw for us, and we decided we would not play the penalty shootout and they should simply give us the silver medals for second place.
"But they told us we had to play or we could be disqualified for not concluding the game and putting the game to disrepute.
"So we said we could play, but playing does not mean we have to score. In retrospect, we can now see that that was a mistake as well. It is being made to look even worse than our initial decision not to play at all."
Remo Stars could be thrown out of competition
Although both finalists are due to qualify for the national FA Cup after reaching the state final, Remo Stars could be thrown out of the competition if the federation investigation finds them guilty of match fixing.
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