Paul Parker

No punishment too harsh for a World Cup match-fixer

Paul Parker

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Fans are the big losers when claims of match-fixing emerge, says Paul Parker.

The news that Cameroon are to investigate claims that seven of their players were involved in match-fixing at the World Cup is depressing stuff.

Most match-fixing stories surround lower league football not the biggest tournament on the planet but if you ask me if I could see match-fixing rearing its ugly head at the World Cup then I would say yes, absolutely.

We will have to see how this particular story plays out but it is clear the Cameroon FA believe there is no smoke without fire and are looking to say their piece early on rather than being attacked straight away from everyone outside the country.

They have done their little bit and obviously FIFA and others will now get involved and try and figure out exactly what has gone on.

For the type of shady figures who look to tempt people into match-fixing, then the World Cup is the ultimate coup.

Everybody is watching and if you can find players who are willing to get involved with you then it is the one to hit.

It was a disastrous tournament for Cameroon on and off the pitch and these latest allegations do not do them, or African football, any favours.

Their performances on the pitch were embarrassing and people are now going to be looking back at every little incident and wondering what exactly went on.

I would not be surprised if some names start to filter out because Cameroon's own FA have come out and talked about 'seven bad apples' and this looks like a story that could rumble on and on.

There are some unfair, negative stereotypes about African football being corrupt and this is just going to add more fuel to the fire.

If somebody is found guilty of match-fixing at the World Cup, when you are meant to be representing your country, then there really should be no way out of it.

I cannot think of a punishment strong enough, but you shouldn't be allowed anywhere near football if found guilty, you shouldn't even be allowed to watch a game.

Anyone caught should be named and shamed and made an example off because they will have embarrassed their country.

African football fans are so passionate that if anybody is found guilty of match-fixing, the player or players in questions won't be allowed to ever forget it.

Some fans will have gone across to Brazil to watch their teams, I can't imagine that all of them are lined with money, and if they made that effort and found out some players had greased their palms with dirty money, then they would be right to think such players were an absolute disgrace.

If you think the World Cup is incorruptible due to its size you are just being naïve though.

We are talking about individuals here, and certain people can always be got to.

However, I still find it hard to accept that a professional footballer would do something like that. Any benefit from fixing a match in any way would just be a short-term fix but if you're caught the negative influence on you will never go away.

You might make some money, but what can you buy with that? There won't be many places that will take your money if they know where it has come from.

You are never going to enjoy it. Sports people are egotistical; they want to be in the limelight, but the type of a limelight a convicted match-fixer would live under, is something nobody wants.

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