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Match-Fixing Attempts Concern for ANC
International Herald Tribune, January 29th, 2008 4PM

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A Rob Hughes report from the International Herald Tribune focuses on the match-fixing attempts that recently threatened to undermine the African Nations Cup. A man representing a Singaporean betting syndicate asked players and officials from two teams, Benin and Namibia, to throw their first-round games against Mali and Guinea, respectively. Thankfully, on both occasions the man was reported to the African soccer confederation, but his offer of $30,000 per man will not have been insignificant to part-time players living in Africa.

"I think African players are vulnerable to this kind of approach because they don't have money," commented Reinhard Fabisch, the Benin coach. "I was astonished the man had the guts to approach a German to fix a football match. I cut him short and told him to leave the hotel."

The incidents caused the Confederation of African Football to take the defensive in their response. "Match fixing is not rampant in Africa," asserted CAF Spokesman Soulemine Hubouba. However, as Hughes points out, money can be a great motivator for African players -- many of whom earn next to nothing compared to Premier League stars like Michael Essien and Didier Drogba -- which means that match-fixing remains a concern.

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