Saturday, September 10, 2011

'Match-fixing hard to prove in NPL'

Gombe United coordinator, Mallam Farouk Yarma, has declared that it is difficult to ascertain the occurrence of match-fixing in the Nigeria Premier League (NPL).

But Yarma would also not rule out match-fixing in Nigeria's top flight following allegations levelled against leaders, Sunshine Stars by Lobi Stars last week.

"I must tell you that it is extremely difficult to prove there is match-fixing in Nigeria. At the same time, I'm not saying there isn't the possibility that we have not had such happen in the past or present. But still it is difficult to prove match-fixing in this country," Yarma told on Thursday afternoon.

The Gombe United official also saluted the move by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) disciplinary committee to carry out an investigation into the match-fixing allegation raised by Lobi Stars against Sunshine Stars.

He offered that if the NFF committee after investigation finds any party in the act of wrongdoing in the match-throwing allegation, then "the full weight of the law should be applied."

"We saw what happened in Italy where Juventus were relegated for match-fixing. Even AC Milan and others were not spared because match-fixing is a big issue destroying the game. Football is not the only sport suffering from match-fixing.

"But I must say that the NFF disciplinary committee has taken the right step to invite all those allegedly accused in this matter. I believe they will look into the matter well. We do not want this kind of thing happening in our league because it drags the name of the game in the mud.

"At the same, nothing has been proven yet. And if eventually it is established that there was match-fixing I will want the full weight of the law to be applied to the offender or offenders to serve as deterrent to others," Yarma rounded off.

Investigation into match-fixing allegation against Premier League leaders, Sunshine Stars begin on September 21 in Abuja.

The NFF disciplinary committee has invited Lobi Stars, Sunshine Stars, the match officials and referees appointment committee to appear before it.

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