Former Sports Minister Bolaji Abdullahi said on Monday that match-fixing allegation should not be a distraction to Nigeria as the nation geared up for 2014 World Cup .
Abdullahi, however, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the Nigeria Football Association (NFA) should not be distracted by the allegation by Wilson Perumal, in his book titled “Kelong Kings’’.
“For me, I must say it’s embarrassing; all the people who are involved have denied it. Anybody can come out and make any allegation but the substance of it has to be proven.
“The Nigeria Football Federation which is the responsibility organisation has denied it.
`If you say, you took Nigeria to the World Cup in 2010, this is 2014. Why are you coming out now to say it when we are preparing for another World Cup?
“So, I think the people who are in a position to deal with that kind of issue will deal with it, but I am delighted that the Nigeria Football Federation has denied it,’’ Abdullahi said.
The former minister noted that Nigeria’s football would consolidate on its achievements if the Super Eagles put up a good performance at the Brazil 2014 World Cup.
“We have done very well in the last two years. So looking at the next two years, I believe there is still a lot of work to do.
“I am optimistic that if we do well at this World Cup it can only help our football to grow better.
“You can see the local league is getting better; the Eagles that went to CHAN did very well. So, I believe that it can only continue to help our football in moving forward.
“I believe we will do well at the World Cup and we can take it from there,’’ Abdullahi added.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that Wilson Perumal, a Singaporean, in his book titled “Kelong Kings’’ alleged that he fixed matches for Nigeria and Honduras to qualify for the 2010 World Cup.
Nigeria is drawn alongside Argentina, Iran and Bosnia-Herzegovina in Group F of the World Cup scheduled to take place in Brazil between June 12 and July 13.