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Soccer-Cameroon to investigate World Cup match-fixing claims

Reuters

(Adds Cameroon statement, details, background)

By Mark Gleeson

SALVADOR, Brazil, June 30 (Reuters) - Cameroon are to investigate claims that seven of their players were involved in match-fixing at the World Cup, the country's football federation FECAFOOT said on Monday.

FECAFOOT said it had instructed its ethics committee to probe allegations of what it described as "fraud" in their three games in Brazil, particularly a 4-0 loss to Croatia in Manaus in their second Group A game.

"Recent allegations of fraud around Cameroon's three 2014 World Cup games, especially Cameroon v Croatia, as well the existence of "seven bad apples (in our national team)" do not reflect the values and principles promoted by our administration," FECAFOOT said in a statement.

"We wish to inform the general public that, though not yet contacted by FIFA in regards to this affair, our administration has already instructed its Ethics Committee to further investigate these accusations.

"We are strongly committed to employ all means necessary to resolve this disruptive matter with the shortest delay," FECAFOOT's interim president Joseph Owona said.

The allegations against Cameroon came from convicted fraudster Wilson Raj Perumal, who had accurately forecast the result and the fact a player would be sent off in a discussion with German magazine Der Spiegel.

Cameroon midfielder Alex Song was sent off before halftime for a needless elbow in the back of Croatia's Mario Mandzukic near the halfway line, leaving his side to battle with 10 men for the majority of the game.

The game was also marred by an incident near the end when Benoit Assou-Ekotto attempted to head-butt team mate Benjamin Moukandjo.

Cameroon's federation subsequently launched an investigation into the incident but has yet to give any update on possible disciplinary action.

The latest controversy adds to a long list for African teams at the World Cup.

Both Ghana and Nigeria, now out of the tournament, were embroiled in disputes over money in Brazil.

Ghana had two players sent home, Sulley Muntari for hitting an official and Kevin-Prince Boateng for allegedly swearing at the coach. (Additional reporting by Neil Maidment, editing by Ed Osmond)

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