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Friday, July 9, 2010
FIFA rubbish claims of match-fixing

FIFA has insisted that there has been no indication of any match-fixing at the World Cup following reports that it had been warned over Nigeria.

The world governing body issued a statement after BBC Two's Newsnight programme reported that a UEFA investigator had warned FIFA before the tournament that the Nigeria team could be vulnerable to match-fixing.

FIFA has responded, saying no information provided by any informant relating to potential match-fixing at the tournament has had any substance.

The statement said: "FIFA and the Early Warning System (EWS) have a network of informants from which we receive information. Of course, as you may understand, we will not disclose the identity of the informants. What we can say is that at least until today no information provided by the informants to FIFA in relation to any potential match-fixing activities during the 2010 FIFA World Cup have proved to have any substance.

"Furthermore, we can also say that there is no indication whatsoever until today of any match-fixing situations during any of the matches of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.''

Newsnight reports that a UEFA investigator in South Africa raised concerns on the morning of Nigeria's first match against Greece that the players were "vulnerable to manipulation''.

He also alerted FIFA's new Early Warning System body, set up to look for signs of match-rigging, of his concerns over betting patterns. Nigeria took a 1-0 lead against Greece but had a player sent off and Greece ended up 2-1 winners.

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