Ghana progressed to the knockout phase of the 2006 World Cup, thanks in part to a 2-0 victory over the Czech Republic in Group E. Those three points might not have been secured for the Black Stars, however, if goalkeeper Richard Kingson had succumbed to an offer to throw the game.
Speaking on Emmanuel TV, the broadcast channel of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (an organization that is no stranger to controversy), Kingson claimed he was offered $300,000 to ensure the Czechs won 2-0, but he was persuaded to avoid the bribe by his wife. ESPN reports:
"In the 2006 World Cup in Germany, we were about to play Czech Republic. By then they were the second best in the world.
"A Ghanaian led me to some people to take a bribe and it was this woman [his wife] who delivered me and delivered Ghanaians. I was very confused and I didn't know what to do but I called her and told her. My wife said: 'Richard, I love you not because of your money, so don't get tempted by this offer to lose your dignity and credibility."
Kingson admitted he was seriously considering the bribe, as he only stood to earn $3,000 from a Ghana victory. This, mathematicians will note, is one hundred times less than the illicit payoff.
Kingson may have his wife to thank for saving him from temptation, but this story is about to take a bizarre turn towards witchcraft. On the same church TV channel that the former international shot stopper felt compelled to confess his match-fixing offer, his wife admitted to casting spells on her other half to inhibit his performance on the pitch -- and in the bedroom. GhanaWeb provides one of the most peculiar quotes you are likely to read today:
It is alleged that the wife of Kingson, Adelaide Tawiah, confessed to controversial pastor TB Joshua that she bewitched her husband, putting his career in disarray and making him impotent.
In a shocking television confession which has allegedly put the entire family in total confusion, Richard Kingston's [sic] wife confessed on Emmanuel TV at The Synagogue Church in Nigeria that she has messed up his life since they got married two years ago.
Kingson married his wife after the 2010 World Cup — the same time his career started to wane — but he vehemently denies that any sorcery was placed on him by his bride. The former Blackpool and Wigan keeper wrote on his Facebook wall "My wife is not a witch." Which is exactly what a person would write if they were possessed under some kind of spiritual incantation by their other half...