Togo messes with B(ah)rain

Hrvoje Zolo, Staff Reporter

There are scandals every day, but this one tops it all off. The Togo international soccer team was scheduled to play a friendly international game against Bahrain. Bahrain accepted the match hoping to see how they improved and if they were ready to play in a tournament coming up. What they did not know was the Togo team was full of fake players and not the real professional team. Bahrain was the underdog in the game, so if you made a bet on them to win, you would make a lot of profit.

This is exactly what a betting syndicate in Asia did. They bet a fortune on Bahrain to win over the better team, Togo. Now the controversy is if this game was fixed or not. One thing that is known for sure is that the Togo team was fake. Fans at the game described them being tired and diving, also known as flopping, or pretending to be hurt, all game.

Now the question is if the referees were in the gambling scandal also. The final score was 3-0 for Bahrain, but the referees disallowed five goals. Bahrain should have won 8-0. Fans said these calls were “questionable” or in other words Togo was favored. Not only do you win a lot of money for betting on the underdog and winning, but you win even more if you guess the score. This is another thought going through the mind of FIFA.

Before all of this happened, Togo was getting hit hard. They had some penalties for having an ineligible player play with them. Also, two Togo team officials and the bus driver were attacked and killed in Angola. Togo was being eliminated from different tournaments like the African Cup of Nations.

For now FIFA is reviewing this and investigating on the fake players who played for Togo. They don’t have sufficient enough information to make conclusions. When the conclusions do come in and if they are negative, there will be severe punishment to the Togo national team. They have dealt with many things in the past couple years, but this would be the worst of them all.