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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 January 2008, 20:03 GMT
Benin coach claims 'fix' approach
By Farayi Mungazi
BBC Sport, Sekondi

Reinhard Fabisch
Fabisch was appointed to Benin post in December
Benin coach Reinhard Fabisch says he was asked if he would help fix the result of his side's Africa Cup of Nations match against Mali.

Benin lost the Group B match 1-0 after conceding a second-half penalty.

Fabisch is willing to give the Confederation of African Football the name and number of the man who claimed to be from a Singapore-based company.

"He wanted to find out from me if there was any possibility of manipulating the match," Fabisch told BBC Sport.

"I told him: 'Look, you have two minutes to leave the hotel or I will call the police'."

Fabisch added that the man - a black African - spoke to him at the team's hotel on Saturday, two days before the Mali defeat.

The man said the company he represented claimed to be able to fix matches across Africa and planned to win money in bets on the tournament's opening goal.

The first goal of the Africa Cup of Nations was Asamoah Gyan penalty for Ghana against Guinea on Sunday 20 January, a game the tournament hosts won 2-1.

I think that African players are vulnerable to this kind of approach, because many of them don't have money

Benin coach Reinhard Fabisch

BBC World Service's Richard Fleming said the news of the alleged incident could have major consequences for the tournament.

"There's more to this story than meets the eye," said Fleming.

"Fabisch is prepared to take this information to the authorities, who must surely act. If these allegations have any foundations at all then it's going to cast a huge cloud over the tournament."

The relative lack of money in African football made the tournament particularly susceptible to the problem, according to Fabisch.

"I was astonished that he had the guts to approach a German to fix a football match," he said.

"I think that African players are vulnerable to this kind of approach, because many of them don't have money.

"This is why poor countries like Benin are targeted.

"I cut him short and told him to leave. It doesn't help football.

"I assume that if someone approaches you like that, then they have that (money) in mind."

Fabisch has warned his players to tell him if they are approached with any similar inquiries.

Benin next play Ivory Coast in Sekondi on Friday.

SEE ALSO
Match-fixing claims set for probe
25 Jan 08 |  Africa Cup of Nations
2008 Cup of Nations qualifying
20 Oct 07 |  Africa Cup of Nations
Ghana 2-1 Guinea
20 Jan 08 |  Africa Cup of Nations
Mali 1-0 Benin
21 Jan 08 |  Africa Cup of Nations
Fabisch hopes for last-eight tie
20 Jan 08 |  Africa Cup of Nations
Fabisch agrees to coach Benin
07 Dec 07 |  Africa Cup of Nations


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