Monday Kickoff: Ghana FA deny match-fixing claims; Messi handed tax bill; and more

KwesiNyantakyiGhanaFA1 (GhanaSoccerNet)

By DAN KARELL

The president of the Ghanian Football Association has denied allegations over match-fixing in his country after a scathing report from the Daily Telegraph.

The Telegraph released a report along with Channel Four in England stating that a member of Ghana’s FA, Obed Nketiah, and a FIFA registered agent, Christopher Forsythe, had attempted to negotiate a contract to schedule Ghana’s next two friendlies. The contract included a clause that would have had Nketiah and Forsythe choosing the match officials for the game, which is in breach of FIFA regulations.

However, in response to the report coming out, then Ghanian FA has filed a police complaint against Nketiah and Forsythe and denied that the contract was signed.

“The report of the newspaper or the media house is entirely not accurate,” Ghanian FA president Kwesi Nyantakyi told www.ghanafa.org.

“There is a representation of half-truths and half-lies. It’s not true that we have agreed with match fixers or people who intend to organize matches of convenience between the Black Stars and any opponent in the future.”

None of the match-fixing allegations involve the World Cup.

Here are some more stories to kick off your Monday:

MESSI HANDED ADDITIONAL TAX FINES

Lionel Messi and his family will be on the hook for millions after an agreement with the Spanish tax authorities over tax fraud between 2007 and 2009.

Messi is being forced to pay nearly €33 million in tax payments, with €25 million of that coming by 2018. Messi signed an agreement with the tax authorities and voluntarily paid €4.1 million plus interest last year after proceedings were opened into potentially unpaid taxes.

The Argentine forward’s father reportedly hid money made on Messi’s image rights in off-shore bank accounts in Uruguay and Belize.

ATLETI INTERESTED IN MARTINEZ

With Diego Costa almost certainly gone to Chelsea this summer, Atletico Madrid are already scouring their options for a replacement.

The latest name linked with a move to the Vicente Calderon is Porto’s Jackson Martinez, who is coming off a 29-goal season in all competitions. Martinez would be costly though, as Diario de Noticias in Portugal believes it would take a bid of €25 million plus another €5 million in add-ons for Porto to say good-bye to their Colombian forward.

Martinez is currently in Colombia’s squad at the 2014 World Cup and has been linked with a transfer to one of the big leagues in Europe for the last couple of seasons, though a move has yet to materialize.

QUICK KICKS

Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque will give goalkeeper Pepe Reina his World Cup debut in Spain’s final match against Australia. (REPORT)

Cameroon midfielder Alex Song has been handed a three-match suspension from FIFA for elbowing Mario Mandzukic in Cameroon’s 4-0 loss to Croatia. (REPORT)

Netherlands manager Louis Van Gaal has complained about the scheduling at the World Cup, saying that Brazil shouldn’t be playing after Holland on Monday. (REPORT)

Frank Lampard will captain England one last time in their final group stage game on Tuesday against Costa Rica. (REPORT)

Juventus are looking into acquiring former AC Milan forward Alexandre Pato from Corinthians. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Disappointed to hear about more corruption in African soccer? Surprised that Messi is being forced to pay that large of a sum? Do you see Martinez moving to Atletico Madrid?

Share your thoughts below.

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9 Responses to Monday Kickoff: Ghana FA deny match-fixing claims; Messi handed tax bill; and more

  1. Daniel M says:

    I like the news on Alexandre Pato, however he plays for São Paulo in Brazil not Corinthians.

  2. Daniel M says:

    Well actually he does play for Corinthians, he is just on loan at Sao Paulo, my bad.

  3. kimo says:

    Freddy Adu was handed a trail with Stabek in Norway … Bob Bradley’s team.

  4. Tru Dat says:

    “There is a representation of half-truths and half-lies. It’s not true that we have agreed with match fixers or people who intend to organize matches…”

    So if you take a half truth, and the other half on the “half-lies”, what do you get?

    And having not “agreed” with match fixers, does that mean there is still active negotiations?

  5. Tru Dat says:

    Compelling video:

    link to telegraph.co.uk

  6. deno says:

    Fyi – the FIFA statistics are fantastic. Here are the stats for the USA-POR game: link to fifa.com

  7. Raymon says:

    Reina and Lampard swan songs. Swell guys.