In Ecuador, the home team won 4-1, helped by penalties scored by both teams that were “similarly questionable,” according to a confidential betting monitoring report.
When asked by the AP whether he knew Perumal, Chaibou became combative.
“You already asked me this question last time. I told you I don’t know him. I don’t know him!” he said, his voice rising. “I told you I don’t know these people.”
In two previous calls to Chaibou, AP had not mentioned the name.
In 2010, Bahrain’s soccer federation hired Perumal to arrange an exhibition match between its national team and that of Togo.
But when the match was played in the Bahraini capital of Manama in September of that year, the rag-tag team from Togo contained none of the players from its national squad. Its coach was not that of the Togolese team, but rather Tchanile Bana, who was serving a two-year ban by Togo for a previous soccer scam.
Bahrain won 3-0, but its coach still complained angrily after the game; the score would have been even more lopsided if officials had not nullified several Bahraini goals on offside calls.
The referee was Chaibou.
From his prison cell in Finland, Perumal wrote to a Singaporean journalist that “Ibrahim Chaibo (sic) was put in charge of this match to keep the score as low as possible.”
Perumal said he wagered “against the current” of other Singapore bettors who knew about his ties to the Togo game and who put down money on the Africans losing by a lot.
Chaibou denied that anyone influenced the match: “These are refereeing decisions. That’s all.”
Asked whether Perumal had dictated the outcome, Chaibou hung up.
He did not answer further calls from the AP.
FIFA did not investigate because there was no formal complaint by either national federation about the match, which has become notorious in the soccer world for hurting the image of international exhibitions.