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Blog - FIFA
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FIFA candidate Sheikh Salman denies knowledge of fake Togo team

FIFA presidency candidate Sheikh Salman has denied the Bahrain FA under his control had prior suspicions of the scam that saw its national team play a fake Togo side in 2010.

Self-confessed and convicted match-fixer Wilson Raj Perumal has been long linked with being behind the Sept. 7 fixture, and Sky News said it had obtained a letter purporting to show Perumal's involvement.

At the time, Sheikh Salman was president of the Bahrain FA (BFA).

A document from the BFA assistant general secretary to the Togo Football Association, dated Aug. 9, 2010 reportedly states, according to Sky News: "The BFA presents you with its salutations and would like to inform you of its authorisation to Football 4 You International Ltd (Singapore), represented by Wilson Perumal, as the Match Agent mediator facility, organising the friendly match in our collaboration.''

Bahrain won the match 3-0 and reportedly had five goals disallowed for offside against a team of players who were later shown not to be associated with the Togo FA, and it was suspected an agent acting for a betting syndicate had managed to fix the result.

At the time, a BFA spokesman said it had organised the match through a trusted agent.

Sheikh Salman told Sky News: "We did not know. When somebody brings you the Togo national team you won't know the team.

"How would I know the players? Once it was reported we co-operated with FIFA officials to know exactly what happened. FIFA took action against the agent.''

Sheikh Salman has vowed to clean up world football's governing body after a string of corruption allegations and scandals if elected as its new president on Feb. 26, when he is due to be one of five candidates.

The Confederation of African Football recently announced it would be backing Sheikh Salman, establishing him as the apparent favourite to be elected.

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