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Soccer Referee Malfeasance

From ESPN comes this ditty about Nigerian soccer officials:

"Football referees in Nigeria can take bribes from clubs but should not allow them to influence their decisions on the pitch, a football official said on Friday."

What's the fun in that?

We know match officials are offered money or anything to influence matches and they can accept it," ( Fanny) Amun (acting Secretary-General of the Nigerian Football Association) told Reuters on Friday.

..."Referees should only pretend to fall for the bait, but make sure the result doesn't favour those offering the bribe," Amun said.

I guess it's too much to increase the officials' salaries, prohibit the taking of bribes, and monitor the officials. Then again, it sounds like bribery is rather ingrained in Nigeria.

Despite a high-profile campaign to stamp out graft in the impoverished African country, Nigeria consistently ranks among the most corrupt countries in the world -- and football is no exception.

So much for the integrity of the game. It sounds like Nigeria, one of the lowest-ranking countries on the Heritage Foundation's Economic Freedom Index, has worse problems.

HT to Sports Law Blog