Report: Ghana ensnared in match-fixing scandal involving future friendlies

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According to a combine investigative report by The Daily Telegraph and British TV program Dispatches, Ghana is embroiled in allegations of match-fixing by members and associates of the Ghanian FA.

The journalist investigation allegedly caught FIFA-registered agent Christopher Forsythe and Ghanian FA member Obed Nketiah claiming they could pay referees to fix matches.

The pair have been reported to the police, according to a response statement by the Ghanian FA, saying “we will seek strong sanctions if such claims are found to be true.”

The report alleges that the pair were recorded at a pre-World Cup camp in Miami discussing with other country officials a pre-contract meant to allow Forsythe and Nketiah the rights to arrange a number of future friendlies for the national team that would be rigged.

The Ghanian FA vehemently denied the outcome of that meeting, saying “We wish to state that the GFA did not sign the contract as we waited for the response from the legal committee and that the two gentlemen did not make such corrupt offers to the GFA or its officials.”

However, according to the report in The Telegraph, Ghanian FA president Kwesi Nyantakyi indeed agreed to the contract “on a trial basis” wherein the accused pair would acquire the rights to put on the matches under the veil of a fake investment company as long as they could assign the match officials.

The Ghanian FA confirmed that the pair approached the governing body about buying the rights to friendly matches involving the national team, but did not know about any match-fixing involved.

Hilarious “Friends” spoof video ‘starring’ Messi, Ronaldo (video)

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Given the rivalry surrounding the two megawatt superstars plying their trade in Spain, you may be surprised to learn that Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are the best of friends.

[ MORE: Top USMNT-Mexico rivalry moments ]

At least that’s what this spoof video conveys, as the Real Madrid and Barcelona stars help each other navigate tax season and toilet troubles.

Brilliant stuff, from FootbOle:

Top USMNT-Mexico moments: Looking back ahead of Saturday

PASADENA, CA - JUNE 25:  Landon Donovan #10 of United States celebrates his goal with teammates Carlos Bocanegra #3 and Alejandro Bedoya #22  against Mexico during the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup Championship at the Rose Bowl on June 25, 2011 in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
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You could argue its the biggest match between the U.S. and Mexico outside of the 2002 World Cup’s Round of 16, and there would be few arguments against you.

The United States and Mexico will tangle on Saturday at the Rose Bowl, with the winner advancing to the 2017 Confederations Cup finals in Russia.

It’s only so often that these rivals match up in a “do or die” match. Sure World Cup qualifiers carry critical import, but they don’t always become the decisive moment in the qualifying cycle.

[ MORE: Spurs’ teen shining at center back for U.S. U-23s ]

Aside from the aforementioned World Cup match and the first match in the rivalry — see 1934 below — no other match has carried as much international weight as Saturday.

So with anticipation high, let’s dance backward in time to the Yanks’ best moments in the rivalry. And let’s also imagine what would have to happen to put Saturday in the mix.

(Of course, our apologies to Mexican fans. We aren’t including the times you slapped American soccer in the face).

2001, 2005, 2009, 2013 — “Dos a Cero” to the fourth power

There is no more celebrated score line in USMNT history than the 2-0 hurting it put on Mexico in four successive home World Cup qualifiers.

2002 — World Cup Round of 16

Goals from Brian McBride and Landon Donovan prodded an upset of the world’s then-No. 7 ranked nation, as the USMNT carried a feel of destiny through its best World Cup.

1934 — World Cup qualifier

Aldo Donnelli scored all four goals as the States won the first recorded match against Mexico, and it was a big one. The winner would go on to the 1934 tournament in Italy, while the loser would go on a tour of European friendlies. The States won, and wouldn’t win again until the qualifiers for the 1982 tournament.

2012 — First win at Azteca

It may’ve been a friendly, but Michael Orozco’s finish will go down as the Yanks’ first ever winner in the fortress of Mexico City.

1980 — World Cup qualifier

Though it meant little to the Yanks’ fate in the 1982 tournament — the U.S. finished last in a group with Mexico and Canada — it was the first win over El Tri in 46 years.