CAF to act on match-fixing

ACCRA - The Confederation of African Football confirmed yesterday it was taking seriously claims of attempted match-fixing at the Africa Cup of Nations.

ACCRA - The Confederation of African Football confirmed yesterday it was taking seriously claims of attempted match-fixing at the Africa Cup of Nations.

The opening week's play at the 2008 edition in Ghana has been overshadowed by the revelation that first Benin and then Namibia were sounded out to throw matches.

Benin's German-born coach Reinhard Fabisch first raised the alarm when he revealed he'd been approached by a man last Saturday claiming to represent a Singapore-based betting syndicate trying to "buy" Benin to fix their opening Group B game with Mali.

Benin lost last Monday's match in Sekondi 1-0.

Then it was the turn of Namibia, whose players reported a man had offered them $30 000 (about R210 000) each to lose their final Group A tie with Guinea today.

The team, who have only an outside chance of making the quarterfinals after defeats to Ghana and Morocco, alerted their national football association president John Muinjo who in turn contacted CAF.

CAF official Soulemine Hubouba told AFP: "We are launching an investigation into both cases. We're following this with great concern, and will have more to say on it either today or tomorrow."

He added that despite these two cases "match-fixing was not rampant in Africa".

Muinjo, explaining the circumstances of the Namibia approach, reported: "My players were approached by a man saying he represented a syndicate and offered them money to lose the game (which takes place on January 28). The players came to me immediately to tell me and we've informed CAF of what has happened.".- Sapa-AFP

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