Fifa was quick to react to the outcome of friendly match between Nigeria and Argentina. The match ended 4-1 to Nigeria, but the most controversial factor was the consolation goal in the added time scored by Argentine.
Ibrahim Chaibou, a Niger referee, added just 5 minutes of extra time to the clock. As soon as this happened, sportsbook websites experienced a surge of betting. In an unusual move, the 46 year old from Niger allowed the game to continue until 98th minute and awarded a highly suspicious penalty to Argentina.
Just before the penalty decision there was a sudden surge in bets at online sportsbooks in Argentina. Punters seemed to be 100 percent certain that a fifth goal will be scored. The most popular betting props in the last minutes of the game were “over/under 4.5 goals scored”.
Online sportsbooks licensed under Argentinian gambling laws, were especially hit hard with virtually an avalanche of identical bets coming from all over the country. Naturally, concerns have been expressed over foul play and match-fixing. Fifa spokesman had the following to say: “Fifa can confirm that this match between Nigeria and Argentina was one that we had an active interest in, and forms part of a wider ongoing Fifa investigation.”
Fifa has been hit hard in recent months by a string of corruption scandals. The decision to award 2022 World Cup to Qatar after accusations of mass bribery has been especially popular among those accusing Fifa of corruption.
Sepp Blatter, Fifa President, has been recently reelected to serve another 4 years in office despite the scandals. It is curious that his only opponent was non other than the President of Qatar Football, who didn’t run a serious campaign. After Blatter retained his position he made clear his intentions to crack down on match-fixing and corruption which he has also promised to do during his first three terms.
Online gambling news in Argentina learned that the referee in question, Ibrahim Chaibou, was also officiating the September 7 friendly match between Bahrain and a “fake” Togo national team, which is still under Fifa investigation.