A convicted Singaporean match-fixer has shockingly claimed that he helped Nigeria to qualify for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa through his match fixing shenanigans.
In a mind-blowing revelation published in a book that will send shockwaves throughout the football world, Wilson Raj Perumal, claims he influenced results to help the Super Eagles to qualify.
In a shocking claim, the match fixer said that Nigeria football authorities promised him the right to organise their pre-2010 World Cup friendlies as well as part of the money FIFA pays to help teams prepare for the tournament.
Perumal, a self-confessed match-fixer who was part of a syndicate that has been placed at the heart of a sophisticated network responsible for fixing hundreds of matches around the world, also claimed in the new book that he also assisted Honduras in reaching the World Cup through his activities.
Perumal's book, written in conjunction with the investigative journalists Alessandro Righi and Emanuele Piano, details the huge sums of money he won and lost – up to €3m in a single night – and the huge reach of the match-fixing syndicate.
He details a meeting with a football official in which he promises 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.
First, he claims to influence three players on his payroll to help Nigeria to victory in one of their qualifiers.
Then he claims to have promised the Mozambique FA a $100,000 bonus if they were able to hold Tunisia to a draw and so stop Tunisia leapfrogging Nigeria and seizing automatic qualification. Mozambique secured an unlikely 1-0 victory.
"My plan had worked and I was the unsung hero of Nigeria's qualification to the final rounds of the 2010 Fifa World Cup in South Africa," writes Perumal.
"Ferrying Nigeria and Honduras to the World Cup was a personal achievement. 'Fuck,' I considered. 'I got two teams to qualify for the World Cup but I cannot tell anyone.'"
Perumal had already admitted to being part of a syndicate that fixed a string of international friendlies by bribing corrupt officials and compromised players, but this is the first time that he has claimed to have influenced World Cup qualifiers.
Perumal was arrested in Helsinki in 2011 and sentenced to two years in prison.
He agreed to co-operate with the authorities and implicated his fellow Singaporean Dan Tan, alleged to be at the heart of the fixing and gambling ring that placed bets on illicit Chinese markets.
Perumal, who served a year of his sentence in Finland after promising to co-operate with the authorities, claims to have had a hand in or profited from fixed matches all over the globe, from Latin America to Serie A.
They included two occasions on which he is alleged to have arranged for bogus African teams to play official friendlies and deliver the required result.
Last year Europol alleged that more than 380 professional matches in Europe and more than 300 matches played in Africa, Asia and central and South America were under suspicion as the scale of the activities of match-fixing gangs from eastern Europe and Asia became clear.
He also claims to have attempted unsuccessfully to bribe referees at the World Cup itself.