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World Cup notebook: FIFA casts doubt on German magazine's claim that match was fixed

Posted: July 2, 2014 - 8:21pm  |  Updated: July 2, 2014 - 9:44pm
Croatia's Mario Mandzukic, left, celebrates with Croatia's Ivica Olic after scoring his side's third goal during the group A World Cup soccer match between Cameroon and Croatia at the Arena da Amazonia in Manaus, Brazil, Wednesday, June 18, 2014.  AP
AP
Croatia's Mario Mandzukic, left, celebrates with Croatia's Ivica Olic after scoring his side's third goal during the group A World Cup soccer match between Cameroon and Croatia at the Arena da Amazonia in Manaus, Brazil, Wednesday, June 18, 2014.

FIFA expressed “substantial doubts” Wednesday about a German magazine’s claims that a World Cup game could have been fixed and asked the publication to provide evidence to back up its report that a renowned match-fixer accurately predicted details of the match hours before it kicked off.

FIFA said it wants Der Spiegel to provide details of all its conversations with convicted match-fixer Wilson Raj Perumal to prove its claim that Cameroon’s 4-0 loss to Croatia on June 18 may have been fixed.

FIFA said it had no indication from betting markets that any of the 56 games so far at the World Cup were suspicious and has “substantial doubts about the alleged manipulation published by Der Spiegel.”

The weekly magazine claimed that Perumal told it in a Facebook chat hours before the Cameroon-Croatia group game that he knew what was going to happen.

 

More high ratings

An estimated 21.6 million people watched Belgium knock out the United States soccer team in the World Cup on U.S. television.

The Nielsen company said Wednesday that 16.5 million people watched the game on ESPN, with 5.1 million more seeing it on the Spanish-language Univision network.

The record U.S. television audience for soccer is the 24.7 million who saw the U.S. play Portugal on June 24, which tied the 2010 World Cup between Spain and the Netherlands.

The Portugal game took place on a weekend, however, when there were more people with free time available to watch. The U.S.-Belgium game started at 4 p.m. on the East Coast during a working day.

 

Bonus contracts

The Ghana Football Association says it will have contracts with players for their World Cup bonuses at future tournaments after having to rapidly bring in $3 million in cash to keep the team playing in Brazil.

GFA President Kwesi Nyantakyi says Ghana had used cash “in order to prevent player revolts” at previous tournaments. He said Ghana paid players in cash at the 2006 and 2010 World Cups.

Ghana’s players didn’t have signed agreements for their bonus payments for Brazil and threatened to strike unless they were paid.

FRANCE VS. GERMANY

When: Noon, Friday

Television: ESPN2

France: Beat Nigeria 2-0

Germany: Beat Algeria 2-1 in overtime