Ghana’s top players face ban

Ghana football and its top players are facing a long FIFA ban after allegations that the 2006 World Cup knock-out stage match between Brazil and Ghana was influenced by an Asian betting syndicate.

The integrity of Ghana football and several of its top players playing for big teams across Europe is teetering on the brink of collapse following this revelation by a top German magazine.

German weekly magazine Der Spiegel will report in its Monday’s edition that former Ghana international Abubakari Damba used some of the key players in the Black Stars players to influence the result.

The magazine reports large sums of money had been bet on Brazil winning by at least two goals and a former Ghana international acted as an intermediary.

Ghana lost the last 16 round match 3-0 in Dortmund on June 27, 2006 which put Brazil into the quarter-finals where they lost to France.

If the information is found to be true, Ghana will face a ban from international football while players involved will stand losing their careers as they will also be banned by FIFA.

The information in Der Spiegel comes from Canadian investigative journalist Declan Hill, whose book about betting on sport around the world is published in German on Tuesday.

Der Spiegel also claim their investigations show two matches in Germany come under suspicion after huge sums were placed on them by a Malaysian who has been convicted of attempted match-fixing.

According to the report, William Bee Wah Lim placed 2.8 million euros (4.1 million US dollars) with Asian bookmakers on Kaiserslautern losing a first-division match at Hanover in November 2005.

As a result of Hanover’s 5-1 victory, he won 2.2 million euros.

Lim placed almost 4 million euros on Karlsruhe beating Sportfreunde Siegen in a second-division match in August 2005. Karlsruhe won the game 2-0.

A Frankfurt court gave Lim a two-years-and-five-months’ prison sentence in June 2007 after he was convicted of attempted match fixing in the German regional league and Austria’s first division.

He was released on conditional bail, but has since left the country and a warrant for his arrest was issued in January.

Source: ghanasoccernet