Kenya vs Nigeria in 2009 may have been fixed

Peter Opiyo takes on Jon Mikel Obi in this epic match from 2009

The epic world cup qualifier between Kenya and Nigeria that was played at Kasarani in 2009 may have been fixed.

A Singaporean match-fixer has claimed he helped two international sides qualify for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.  Wilson Raj Perumal, a self-confessed match-fixer who was part of a syndicate that has been placed at the heart of a sophisticated network responsible for fixing hundreds of matches around the world, claims in a new book that he assisted Honduras and Nigeria in reaching the World  Cup through his activities.

Perumal had already admitted to being part of a syndicate that fixed a string of international friendlies by bribing corrupt officials and compromised players, but this is the first time that he has claimed to have influenced World Cup qualifiers.

He then details a meeting with a football official in which he promises to help Nigeria qualify for the World Cup in return for free rein in organising three warm-up matches and a cut of the money Fifa provides for hosting a training camp during the tournament. First, he claims to influence three players on his payroll to help Nigeria to victory in one of their qualifiers. Then he claims to have promised the Mozambique FA a $100,000 bonus if they were able to hold Tunisia to a draw and so stop Tunisia leapfrogging Nigeria and seizing automatic qualification. Mozambique secured an unlikely 1-0 victory.

“My plan had worked and I was the unsung hero of Nigeria’s qualification to the final rounds of the 2010 Fifa World Cup in South Africa,” writes Perumal. “Ferrying Nigeria and Honduras to the World Cup was a personal achievement. ‘Fuck,’ I considered. ‘I got two teams to qualify for the World Cup but I cannot tell anyone.'”

Blatant bias by the referee

During the encounter between Kenya and Nigeria, local fans became increasingly impatient with referee who seemed to be doing everything he could to help Nigeria win the match. The second goal by Yakubu Aiyegbeni was scored from what was a blatantly offside position. One could make the argument that even the first goal by Obafemi Martins should have been flagged for offside.

Besides those two goals, every decision by the referee went in Nigeria’s favour. At one point, Kenya fans became so livid that they started to throw water bottles into the field.

FIFA Investigation

FIFA has apparently asked for and received a full video of the match for investigation. Will they investigate ? Considering that FIFA itself is as corrupt as they come, it is unlikely that this investigation will lead anywhere.


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One Response to Kenya vs Nigeria in 2009 may have been fixed

  1. Livingstone says:

    Perumal talks about the fix in detail in his book “Kelong Kings”