Newly crowned champions of the Ogun State FA Cup, Ijebu United Football Club, have denied involvement in any match-fixing arrangement with the runners-up Remo Stars.
After a barren 90 minutes of action, the Cup final was to be decided via penalty kicks where the drama ensued.
In the viral video seen by PREMIUM TIMES, the Remo Stars team were deliberate in their intention to lose, with the team keeper standing still with no intention to save the ball and one player kicking so wide it went diagonal to where the shot was taken from.
Those bizarre scenes in the Cup final got fans talking across the world and the consensus was a watertight case of match-fixing.
However, both Ijebu United and Remo Stars have faulted these claims by claiming what would be the sense in fixing an ‘inconsequential’ game, as both teams have already qualified for the national finals.
In an official statement issued by the management of Ijebu United, they washed off their hands from a despicable act like match-fixing
The statement read: “The attention of the Management of Ijebu United Football Club has been drawn to insinuations across social media platforms in respect to the events played out during the penalty shootout at the final of 2022 edition of Ogun State FA cup competition played on Thursday 14th of July, 2022 at the Otunba Dipo Dina Stadium, Ijebu Ode.
“We wish to reiterate that Ijebu United FC was not aware of any match-fixing arrangement. Our team came into the game with expectations and determination to win and we won to the glory of God.”
“Responses from our opponent – Remo Stars FC and Ogun State Football Association on what happened during the penalty shootout of the game under reference are in the public domain already to corroborate our position.”
“We hereby use this medium to thank and appreciate our numerous fans and supporters across the globe and other football stakeholders for their concerns and solidarity. We promise not to disappoint.”
Michael Onikute, an official of Remo Stars, said the match-fixing insinuations are unfounded. He argued that the team would not have streamed the match live if there were such intentions.
“Well, first on the allegations of match-fixing, this is totally false,” Onikute told Goal.
“If indeed the match was fixed, we would not have streamed the game live on our social media channels.
“That being said, the game in question was not even credible enough to be on any sports betting platform and all team members are banned from taking part in any form of betting activities.”
He added: “We as a team were utmost disappointed with the level of organization, coordination, and officiating of the games in the state cup.
“Just before the end of the normal time, the match officials ended the match without the additional time and before the end of the 90th minute, so the game could end in penalties.
“We opted not to play the penalties, but the Ogun State FA insisted we played, or risk being banned.
“We have been facing this challenge every year we play in the State FA Cup, and we felt we should make a statement against this,” he added.
“In fact, we have not reached the final in the last five years because of this same reason. Our decision may be weird, but I am sure the organizers now know our stand and they will do better next time.”
We advise you to watch the video and come to your own conclusions.”