Author: Graham Tower
Published: 15:36 28/05/2014
Nigeria’s World Cup preparations came under a cloud after reports that tonight’s friendly against Scotland was under review following match fixing allegations. British operators have witnessed no suspicious betting patterns and it’s business as usual as far the leading bookmakers are concerned.
Brazil-bound Nigeria are playing Scotland at Fulham’s Craven Cottage and the African champions are 5/4 favourite to beat Gordon Strachan’s outfit which is 5/2 underdog and the draw 23/10, best prices taken from this football odds comparison.
A spokesman for British bookmaker William Hill said they had seen no evidence of the issues surrounding the friendly and would not expect to.
"This sort of activity will be executed in the illegal betting market, and is unlikely to be seen in the UK or European regulated sector," the spokesman said.
A spokesman for competitors Coral added: "We are not aware of any unusual betting patterns on this match, and that has been reflected across the industry.
"However we are not complacent about it. We do know that where there is integrity concern over football matches, betting tends to take place far from British shores."
FIFA had been asked to issue an alert over attempts to fix the match the the National Crime Agency which investigates serious and organised crime. It’s believed upcoming World Cup friendlies could be a target for illegal Asian betting syndicates specialising in spot-fixing where specific events in a match are pre-arranged.
However comments from the respective national managers suggest they’ll be taking the game seriously.
Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi has said is players will not be involved in anything untoward, telling Sky Sports News, “We're not part of this. We don't know anything about this. We're here to play.”
Gordon Strachan will be an onlooker in Brazil but has been looking forward to the game as he plans for Scotland’s European Champuionship campaign.
"Nigeria is a huge game for us, we want to continue the form we've had”, said Strachan, They have strong, talented players, so it will be a test for us. That's for sure.
"First of all, we'll try and win the game”