Match-fixing allegations dog Ghana chief

Ghana's Asamoah Gyan (centre) dances with teammates Christian Atsu (left) and Jonathan Mensah after...

Ghana's Asamoah Gyan (centre) dances with teammates Christian Atsu (left) and Jonathan Mensah after scoring against Germany during their World Cup Group G match at Castelao Arena in Fortaleza, Brazil, June 21, 2014. (MARCELO DEL POZO/Reuters)

KURTIS LARSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:33 PM ET

MANAUS, Brazil - The Ghanaian Football Association might just be akin to the WWE.

In a massive match-fixing investigation undertaken by the UK's Telegraph pre-World Cup, high-profile members of Ghana's FA, including its president, allegedly informed undercover reporters they could easily fix international games.

Accused of being the Vince McMahon of world-class soccer, Ghanaian soccer president Kwesi Nyantakyi told an investigative crew there should be an "experimental" period of "arranging" matches post-World Cup. He even appeared to agree to a "trial" game following this summer's tournament in Brazil.

The investigation didn't stop there, either.

Flanked by FIFA-approved player agent Christopher Forsythe, another Ghanaian soccer official, Obed Nketiah, also spoke to the Telegraph's investigators about potentially hiring corrupt game officials to produce a desired scoreline.

"Everywhere it happens," Forsythe said in an undercover video. "The referees can change matches every time."

Forsythe added how he'd go about informing the officials the fix was in.

"(We can tell them) something is happening in the Far East … And then they will make it happen."

Meanwhile, Nketiah, a member of Ghana's FA, quietly took it all in.

Both men have since denied any wrongdoing.

Ghana is currently competing at the FIFA World Cup in Brazil and remains in position to progress after drawing Germany 2-2 over the weekend.

The Black Stars will meet Portugal on Thursday.

Questions swirled here in Brazil after Ghana conceded a goal against the U.S. just seconds into the West Africans' first group game.

Nigeria also faced massive criticism before the tournament when they were alleged to have been involved in fixed match against Scotland.

According to Brazilian media outlet Globo, investigators were keeping a close eye on Monday's Cameroon-Brazil due to the Indomitable Lions having already been eliminated.

ENDING FIFA CORRUPTION

Evidence suggests soccer corruption is rampant around the globe.

As Forsythe told investigators in the aforementioned report, it stretches all the way from the top to the bottom of the South Sudan Football Federation.

Here's the thing: Banning players, management and others with ties to a criminal enterprise does nothing.

They could care less, obviously, or they wouldn't take the risk in the first place.

If FIFA really wants to stamp out corruption -- to the best of its ability, at least -- it will penalize entire confederations.

In the above instance, put the pressure on CAF, African soccer's governing body.

If the confederation is incapable of snuffing out corruption then pull a few of its World Cup spots.

Cut CAF's number (5) of World Cup teams by two. Or, cut CAF out of the competition completely for at least four years.

In Ghana's case, if the allegations prove true, ban the Black Stars from participating in the next two qualifying campaigns.

It's the only way to preserve the integrity of the tournament before it's too late.

RECORD NUMBERS

Welcome to the World Cup of records.

A day after Germany's Miroslav Klose matched Ronaldo's record for most World Cup goals (15), U.S. TV numbers emerged.

They were big.

More than 18.2 million U.S. viewers watched on ESPN alone Sunday night in match that saw the U.S. concede a late equalizer to Portugal here in Manaus.

Add the 6.5 million Spanish-speaking Americans that tuned in on Univision and that's nearly 25 million American-viewers in total, topping the previous mark from four years ago.

In 1999, just under 24.3 million Americans tuned in to watch the U.S. play China in the women's World Cup final.

BRAZILIANS BEING BRAZILIAN

In Canada, we have commercials.

They have them in Brazil, too. Just not before a Brazil World Cup game, apparently.

As soon as the Netherlands-Chile match ended around 2 p.m. here in Manaus, live coverage from Brasilia immediately began.

It started with multiple choppers tracking Brazil's team bus as it approached Estadio Nacional in the country's capital.

When Brazil's bus disappeared into the bowels of the stadium, it went to cameras three, four and five, tracking the coach as it approached the dressing room.

Camera six and seven walked with the players as they exited the bus before the stadium cameras revealed the pitch -- the perfect chance for a commercial break.

Or not.

Instead, Brazilian TV lets you watch the goalkeepers and players warm-up for another hour, with commentators periodically chiming in.

It seems there's one thing more important than TV revenue in this country: Cups.

LAST WORD

For the first time ever, CONCACAF is poised to have three teams progress to the knockout phase at a FIFA World Cup.

Following Mexico's win over Croatia Monday night, if the U.S. manages to hang with Germany later this week, CONCACAF will undoubtedly be the surprise confederation of the tournament after Costa Rica somehow managed to progress with wins against Uruguay and Italy.

Here's the bigger picture: It just so happens all six South American sides are also poised to advance, meaning nine of the 16 second-round teams could come from the Americas.


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