International friendly

Argentina-Nigeria game faces probe

June 4, 2011

FIFA are investigating reports of unusual betting patterns relating to Wednesday's international between Nigeria and Argentina.

Ike Uche celebrates one of his goals
GettyImagesIke Uche celebrates one of his goals

Nigeria ran out 4-1 winners against a largely second-string Argentinian side in the friendly encounter in Abuja.

Ike Uche scored twice and Victor Obinna once to put the hosts three up at the break, while Emmanuel Emenike made it four in the second half.

Argentina got on the scoreboard eight minutes into injury time - only five having been signalled - when Joseph Yobo was penalised for a handball by referee Ibrahim Chaibou of Niger, and Mauro Boselli scored from the penalty spot.

It is claimed a high number of bets were placed for there to be another goal with the score at 4-0.

FIFA said in statement released to the Daily Telegraph: ''FIFA can confirm that this match between Nigeria and Argentina was one that we had an active interest in, and forms part of a wider ongoing FIFA investigation.''

"There had been some crazy moves on the in-running market early in the game," Matthew Benham of SmartOdds, an online betting firm, said. "With 86 minutes played the odds for 4.50 [a fifth goal to be scored] were absolutely insane. The market was effectively saying it was odds against that there would be no more goals. It is hard to get an exact figure for how much would have been bet to force that kind of swing but we are certainly talking hundreds of thousands, possibly more than £1,000,000."