Self-confessed serial match-fixer Wilson Raj Perumal has sensationally declared that he rigged football matches in order to help two international sides qualify for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
Perumal's claims come in a new book, in which he gives explicit detail about his illegal doings.
As per Reuters UK, the 48-year-old was arrested in Helsinki last Wednesday and will face an investigation into his crimes.
The Singaporean villain was one of the world's most recognisable match-fixers for a number of years and had previously admitted to influencing the outcome of various international friendlies. However, these fresh claims will only bring the sport into further disrepute.
Match-fixing is one of the biggest worldwide problems within the sport and the fact it has potentially impacted football's showpiece will undoubtedly ring the alarms of FIFA and other governing bodies.
In 2013, as reported by BBC Sport, a thorough worldwide investigation pinpointed 680 matches as being potentially fixed by a Singaporean syndicate—Perumal had assisted the enquiry in exchange for protective custody. One of those games was a Champions League match played on English soil, although specific details were never publicly disclosed.
As revealed by the Guardian's Owen Gibson, “He claims he used an associate called Bee Hoon to "make things happen" and ensure Honduras won a match to qualify for the World Cup in South Africa.”
Perumal did stress that the Honduran team were not at fault and had no knowledge of the intervention, but it is still a very worrying revelation for football.
Perhaps more concerning is the situation surrounding Nigeria's qualification for the tournament as Perumal promised, via Gibson “to help Nigeria qualify for the World Cup in return for free rein in organising three warm-up matches and a cut of the money Fifa provides for hosting a training camp during the tournament.”
The criminal says that he achieved his aim with a combination of bribing three opposing players, as well as offering the Mozambique FA a cash incentive for preventing Tunisia from automatic qualification.
However, as per Lolade Adewuyi of Goal.com, the Nigerian Football Federation has categorically denied the allegations—although it isn't the first time they've been at the centre of a match-fixing storm.
Perumal's claims are a damning view of the sport's vulnerability and whether these allegations prove to be founded or not doesn't alter the fact it is a very worrying situation for everyone involved with the game.
Do you think there is any truth to Perumals' claims? Post your opinions below.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!