- Title: UK: FOOTBALL/SOCCER: Nigeria coach says he is shocked by match-fixing rumors
- Date: 27th May 2014
- Summary: LONDON, ENGLAND, UK (MAY 27, 2014) (REUTERS) NIGERIA PLAYERS RUNNING ON PITCH AT CRAVEN COTTAGE
- Embargoed: 11th June 2014 13:00
- Location: United Kingdom
- Country: United Kingdom
- Topics: Sports
- Reuters ID: LVABRDJ0AZC8PUNFD0VG9HYJ9DA3
- Story Text: The Nigerian national soccer team trained at Fulham's Craven Cottage stadium on Tuesday (May 27) ahead of a friendly match against Scotland, after the Scottish FA were contacted regarding possible match-fixing in the upcoming match.
Britain's National Crime Agency has contacted the Scottish FA (SFA) about a possible plot to fix Wednesday's (May 28) international friendly between Scotland and Nigeria in London, an SFA spokesman said in statement.
"We are liaising with the relevant authorities and preparing for the match as normal," the spokesman added on Tuesday, confirming that officers had been in touch with the SFA regarding a match-fixing threat.
The SFA added that there was no specific intelligence, however, and the National Crime Agency, which specialises in investigating organised crime, had no comment.
Stephen Keshi, Nigeria's head coach, said he had no idea where the rumours had come from and his side were just focused on preparing for the World Cup.
"We are not here for that - we are here to play and to, you know, see our team improve and get ready for the World Cup so I don't know, maybe some sort of joke is around the corner and it is not very pleasant, you know?" he said outside Craven Cottage.
The match is a World Cup warm-up for Nigeria before they head off to the finals in Brazil which kicks off on June 12.
Leading bookmakers are routinely on alert for unusual betting patterns but were not aware of any specific threat.
Keshi said he had never heard of the phrase 'match-fixing' before, and that any of his players not giving all their commitment in Wednesday's game would be sent home.
"I am not sure any player in this bus here, this coach here, would not give 110 percent tomorrow, otherwise they go home," he said.
Keshi was looking forward to a serious game, which is one of his side's three World Cup warm-up games, and that his side wanted to achieve a positive result for the Nigerian fans.
"We are here to play, we are not here to mess around. We have 150 million Nigerians waiting for this game tomorrow so it is not a game to mess up, it is a serious game," he said before boarding the team bus.
The alert came on the day Europe's anti-crime agency Europol signed an agreement with governing body UEFA to deal with match-fixing in European soccer.
However, the organisation's director Rob Wainwright said the issue was not a major problem in Europe.
Nigeria, who also have warm-up matches scheduled against Greece and the United States next month, start their World Cup campaign against Iran in Curitiba on June 16.
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