1 July 2014 23:17
The convicted match-fixer who was said to have predicted a FIFA World Cup scoreline involving Cameroon has emphatically denied the claims.
The Cameroon Football Federation were forced to open an investigation after German magazine Der Spiegel claimed that Wilson Raj Perumal correctly called the outcome of Croatia’s 4-0 win over the African nation in the group stages of the Brazil showpiece.
Der Spiegel also said that Perumal knew a Cameroon player would be sent off in the first half, with Alex Song subsequently dismissed five minutes before the break.
Those claims were rejected by Perumal on Tuesday, who insisted that he only commented about the Cameroon team after the match – something refuted by Der Spiegel.
Der Spiegel told the BBC: “We firmly stand by our assertion that Mr Perumal wrote in a Facebook chat with Der Spiegel some hours before the World Cup match Croatia v Cameroon, that the result will be a 4-0 win to Croatia and that a Cameroon player will get a red card in the first half.”
Perumal – previously jailed for fixing football matches – released his own statement, widely reported in the international media, which said: “Contrary to the ‘revelations’ published by the German weekly Der Spiegel that were picked up by news outlets worldwide, I did not predict the result of the Cameroon v Croatia match played on June 18, 2014.
“The Facebook chat with the Der Spiegel journalist took place a few days after the match – 21 June, as confirmed by my Facebook log – and was but an informal assessment of the behaviour of the Cameroon team at the Brazil 2014 World Cup after they had played two of their three group stages matches, including the one with Croatia.
“At no time did I make reference to four goals being scored or to a red card being issued.
“At no time did I suggest that I had any way of corroborating or substantiating what was meant to be an educated guess based on my extensive match-fixing experience.
“I am shocked and amazed that a respected magazine such as Der Spiegel would go so far as to fabricate statements by yours truly with the visible aim of stirring the row over match-fixing.
“I apologise to the Cameroon FA and to its fans if I inadvertently offended them. It was not my intention.”
FIFA declined to comment on the matter when contacted by Perform.