- Ibrahim Chaibou was handed a life ban for bribery and match-fixing by FIFA on Thursday
- Chaibou also slammed a 177,000 euros (about $226,000) fine by the world's football arbiters
- The 52-year-old referee was the centre referee when Nigeria hosted Argentina in June 2011
Ibrahim Chaibou, Niger referee, was on Thursday, January 25, slammed with a life ban for bribery and match-fixing by FIFA.
The world’s football’s governing body, FIFA, also slammed a 177,000 euros (about $226,000) fine on the 52-year-old Chaibou who is also barred from engaging in a football-related activities for life.
“Mr Chaibou has been banned for life from all football-related activities (administrative, sports or any other) at both national and international level,” a statement from FIFA’s independent Ethics Committee read in part.
Chaibou famously awarded several spot-kicks in a 2010 friendly game between South Africa and Guatemala which sparked an official probe.
At the last count, Chaibou’s career were key to revealing how international matches were manipulated for betting scams, forcing FIFA to change the rules for selecting referees after exposing convicted match-fixer Wilson Perumal.
Speaking moments after the news emerged ex-FIFA investigator Chris Eaton says he is excited over the decision from football arbiters.
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“Chaibou was probably the most corrupt referee the game of football has seen,” Eaton was quoted as saying by The Associated Press on Thursday.
Interestingly, Chaibou was the center-referee when Nigeria hosted Argentina in June 2011, awarding a non-existent penalty for a handball against defender Efe Ambrose.
Reacting after the match that ended 4-1 he claimed he did not want anyone to feel sad hence he awarded the spot-kick.
“I judged it to be a penalty, so I gave a penalty ... to make everyone happy. That’s it,” Chaibou said in a telephone conversation with AP in February 2013.
However, Eaton, who led FIFA’s probe of Chaibou before quitting in 2012 dismissed Perumal’s views statement describing the retired referee as courageous for awarding late spot-kick during matches.
“It wasn’t courage, it was pure unadulterated corrupt greed,” said Eaton, a former detective and Interpol official. He praised FIFA for pursuing the referee long after Chaibou’s mandatory retirement from the international list of approved referees after turning 45 in 2011.
“It’s a well-deserved shaming of the man who disgraced African football more than any other,” Eaton submitted.
Earlier, Legit.ng reported that the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has banned Nigerian referee Joseph Ogabor for one year for ”attempted match manipulation” during an international club match earlier this month.
The decision was made after investigations were conducted and evidence submitted by the South African match officials who were in charge of a Confederation Cup game in Lagos on April 7 between Nigerian team Plateau United and Algerian club USM Alger which Plateau United won it 2-1.
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