Following some very specific and accurate predictions from a convicted match-fixer, Cameroon soccer's governing body has announced it will probe the possibility of fraud in the team's World Cup performance.
Singaporean Wilson Raj Perumal has been implicated in a number of semi-related match-fixing scandals over the last two decades, some of which have been confirmed by FIFA investigators, and has been jailed multiple times. Before Cameroon's group stage match against Croatia, Perumal wrote on his Facebook page that there were "seven bad apples" on the team, and that Cameroon would lose 0-4 and have a player sent off in the first half. Both of those things happened.
In response to this and other allegations from Perumal, Fecafoot—Cameroon's soccer federation—has promised to investigate. From a statement issued yesterday:
"Recent allegations of fraud around Cameroon 2014 Fifa World Cup three preliminary games, especially Cameroon vs. Croatia, as well of the "existence of seven bad apples" do not reflect the values and principles promoted by our administration, in line with Fifa Code of Conduct and the ethics of our nation.
"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."
There are reasons to be skeptical. For one, Perumal is an inveterate attention-seeker, and just published his memoirs. For another, Cameroonian players and administrators hate each other. Fecafoot is notorious for corruption, with executives skimming money from stadium development funds and player bonuses. Disputes over unpaid wages led to a 24-hour player strike, with the Cameroonian team refusing to board the plane to Brazil.
So, take these match-fixing claims with a big huge pile of salt. If there's anyone who'd love an excuse to dismiss certain players, it's Fecafoot. And if there's anyone who'd want to head off a legitimate FIFA investigation into actual fraud, that's also Fecafoot.