Ibrahim Chaibou, Niger referee has been slammed with a life ban for bribery and match-fixing by FIFA on Thursday, January 25.
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.
“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.
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