Nigeria Football Federation says it will probe allegations of match-fixing following the bizarre penalty shoutout between Remo Stars and Ijebu United during the Ogun State FA Cup final last Thursday.
This follows an incident captured in a video, that has since gone viral, where the Remo Stars goalkeeper appeared to do little to stop the opposition penalties while Remo players seemed to purposely miss the target.
Ijebu went on to win the match 3-0 on penalties in what was the regional qualifying tournament where both finalists qualify for the National FA Cup competition but the incident left a bitter taste in the mouths of observers who suspected something sinister might have been at play and now NFF what to find out what exactly happened.
NFF General Secretary, Mohammed Sanusi, told ESPN that, “There will be an investigation.
“It is very, very embarrassing. I have already directed the head of the NFF Head of Integrity to handle the investigation.”
Remo Stars had, however, denied the match-fixing allegations with club secretary Michael Onikute telling goal.com that the players were protesting against the refereeing decisions during the final.
Onikute said, “Well, first on the allegations of match-fixing, this is totally false.
“What I can deduce from the social media posts is that some individuals are trying to get much attraction by posting the [penalties] video with the word match-fixing, because they know it would alert the football world.
“You will also see that they never presented a concrete explanation about the game rather than match-fixing. That shows the level of unprofessionalism of such journalists involved in the propaganda. If indeed the match was fixed, we would not have streamed the game live on our social media channels.
“That being said, the game in question was not even credible enough to be on any sports betting platform and all team members are banned from taking part in any form of betting activities.”
“We as a team were utmost disappointed with the level of organisation, coordination and officiating of the games in the state cup.
“Just before the end of the normal time, the match officials ended the match without the additional time and before the end of the 90th minute so the game could end in penalties. We opted not to play the penalties, but the Ogun State FA insisted we played, or risk being banned.”