Match-fixing probe launched

Argentina's 4-1 friendly defeat by Nigeria on Wednesday is being investigated for possible match-fixing, by far the highest-profile game to come under the microscope so far.

"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," said FIFA in a statement.

"In particular, FIFA will be working closely with colleagues at the FIFA early warning system."

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Refereree Ibrahim Chaibou of Niger awarded two controversial penalties in the match, Victor Obinna converting for Nigeria in the 27th minute and Mauro Boselli scoring for Argentina deep into stoppage time with the last kick of the match.

Manipulation of matches by gambling rings has become a major concern for world football's governing body FIFA and its European counterpart UEFA and both monitor thousands of matches for unusual betting patterns.

Last month, FIFA set up a partnership with Interpol and announced it would donate €20 million over the next ten years to fight the problem.x

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