Posts Tagged ‘Stephen Appiah’

Message from the Author

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008

(Originally posted here)

Dear Readers,

Thank you for your interest in the book and the issue of cleaning up corruption in football.

The book has attracted a great deal of attention. Many people have requested that more information on interviews and data be placed here on the website. I am working with my researcher to put as much material as we can on the site. Today, we have posted the transcripts of the hearing about the attempted fixing in the Ghana versus Iran game of July 2007 and excerpts from transcripts and tape of an interview with Stephen Appiah in December 2007, where we discussed among other things, his accepting money – after a game was over – from a gambler for winning the match.

We will be posting more material over the next few days. Please stay tuned.

In the meantime, I urge you to read the book fully and completely. Once you are finished please press for the reforms needed to safeguard our beloved sport.

Best wishes,

Declan Hill


MP3 Audio of Interview with Stephen Appiah:

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6. ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Excerpt of 2nd Interview Transcript of Stephen Appiah

December 11, 2007
By phone – (Taped)

Declan Hill: Tell me, when we were speaking in July you mentioned there were a lot of gamblers approaching you, tell me about that.

Stephen Appiah: About gamblers?

DH: Yeah, you remember you were talking about those Asian guys who were always coming up to you…

SA: Oh yeah, yeah. Okay, its been a long time that I haven’t seen those guys. I met this particular guy in Malaysia. When we were in Malaysia. He came when we played in Greece, Athens at the Olympic Games. I saw him… I saw him at Germany. But, no, all the time I used to tell him, “Yeah, yeah. I am not interested. So I don’t want to… you should leave me alone… I don’t want.”

DH: That is when he asked you to lose games, but there were a couple of times when you took money to win games, to win, not to lose.

SA: Yeah, but yeah they used to say that, but I don’t want to risk myself because I don’t know what will happen on the field. I don’t know that we’re going to win or lose.

So I said, so I said, when they come, they come and they ask me I said “No.” I said to you honestly that I remember in Greece in the Olympic games that the guy came and he said, “Okay, we have to,” I think against Japan, “we have to… I have to say to the coach, that we have to lose the… no, they have to score the first goal.” I said, “What are you talking about? We wanted to go to the next stage so how can I do such a thing? We can’t… We can’t do that.”

And I remember there was a man who came to me in Malaysia in ‘97. He came and he said he wanted us to score the first goal. So he phoned me, no. He called me and my … my…. my roommate, he is a striker, but we told him, yeah we don’t want any trouble cause, you know, these people if you take money from them and then maybe they will talk. Even they say, “You have to win the game, you win the game, so they start talking and they say, “Oh we gave them money to win.” You know these kind of things, so I don’t want to involve myself into trouble. So I was like, “No, no, no, I’m not interested.” (10.22)

DH: Anyway I think when we talked you mentioned a game against Paraguay where you were given $20,000, and I’m just saying to win, I’m not saying to lose, I’m saying to win.

SA: Yeah, yeah. Yeah, against Paraguay at the Olympic Games. Yeah. Yeah. He, no, he came and he said, “OK I’m going to give you this money. Tell the players you have to win the game, blah, blah, blah.” But I told him, “OK, I will talk to the players, but we’re not going to take any money. After the game, if you see that, if you think that we are honest, after the game, because you promised us, after the game you come and give us the money. If we win, you give us the money. So yes. So I don’t want to, I’m not going to take any money, I don’t want to take any money, but after the game if you feel like coming to give us the money you can come and give us the money. But after we play to win. We won the game and that’s all.

DH: So then they gave you the money after the game, when you’d won the game.

SA: Yes.

DH: I’ve spoken to one Asian guy who told me that during the World Cup there was a bunch of guys on the Ghana team who were gonna sell one of the matches. Did you hear anything about that?

SA: During the World Cup?

DH: Yeah, this last one in Germany.

SA: No, no. I didn’t hear anything.

DH: Do you think such a thing could have been possible?

SA: Could have been possible to what?

DH: Do you that some of your teammates may have thrown the game?

SA: No, no, no, I don’t think so, I don’t think so. With this squad, with this squad that we have now? No, no. Because we do everything together, nobody is going to go back to the team. We do everything together. We are united, so I don’t think someone would do that. Or if someone were to do something like that, he would say to all the team, “Hey this is, this is… A guy came and he said, “Blah, blah, blah.” So what do we think?” But not to lose a match and something. But to win a match - yes.

DH: Did they give you guys any money after you won the Czech or the U.S. game this time?

SA: Who?

DH: Did any of the gamblers give you money at the World Cup?

SA: No, no, no I didn’t see anybody so. Honest, I didn’t see anybody.

DH: OK, ’cause what happened was that they told me in May that there was a deal happening with some of your guys on your team. And then they said “We’ll tell you the score of the games before they happen, and that they’re gonna lose to Italy and beat Czech and the United States.”

SA: Nah, nah, I don’t think so. How can we know that we gonna to lose against Italy, we were gonna win Czech Republic, and we going to win against U.S.? We don’t have to risk. So, that one, no I don’t think so.

DH: And then they said that three or four days before the Brazil match that you guys would lose against the Brazil guys. (13.50)

SA: They said what?

DH: They said that you guys would lose against Brazil.

SA: Oh, you mean the gamblers?

DH: Yeah, the gamblers.

SA: No, that’s what. I didn’t see anybody during the World Cup I didn’t see anybody, I didn’t know anything about that. So I don’t think so. If you watched the game, the game against Brazil, we lost the game, but you can see that we played that game. We played the game. But maybe they had experienced players more than us. So they used that strength to beat us. But no, we didn’t play anything. We played all the game. So I don’t think, so I don’t think that there was something like that… I didn’t know anything. I didn’t know anything. I don’t think. Because everyone was willing to play Brazil. Everyone was willing to win that game. So I don’t thing there was something going on for Ghana to lose the game against Brazil, no, I don’t think so.

DH: Well, I thought it was kind of strange and then I went to Ghana and after I interviewed you I saw the paper about Damba, Abu Damba, and how the guys were trying to fix in Iran, and so I have to say honestly Stephen, that I was kind of perplexed about that when I saw that.

SA: Yeah, I read that story but I didn’t know what happened.

DH: Well, ’cause Abu Damba was in Germany as well along with the guy that you know, Allan, you know the little small guy with the round face.

SA: What’s the name of the guy?

DH: Allan. You know the little small Chinese guy, with the round face?

SA: Yeah, yeah, I don’t know his name. But how come you know these guys?

DH: Well, because, that’s what I do my research in. I look at organized crime. And so these guys are, you know these gamblers from Asia and stuff.

SA: Yeah, but if you go around and put that, these people will come and kill me.

DH: Sorry what’s that Stephen?

SA: Yeah, but if you write in your book that I said, these guys, this guy Allan, I don’t remember his name Allan, and said, “Blah, blah, blah.” They will come and kill me.

DH: Why would they kill you Stephen?

SA: Yeah, because you would say that maybe I am trying to set them up or I’m trying to…you know?

DH: No, my sense is they might be trying to set you up and they may be bullshitting me, you know, saying “Oh, blah, blah, blah, you know, we know all these guys,” and stuff, so I’m just trying to figure out what the truth is here

SA: No but the thing about Damba, I just read it in the newspapers, and Damba said he was innocent, so I don’t know the story. I don’t know the story.

DH: Do you ever get threatened by anyone? I don’t want to make you frightened or anything like that.

SA: What?

DH: Did you ever get frightened. Do you ever get threatened by those guys?

SA: Threatened?

DH: Yeah. Like when I say, blah, blah, blah… Sorry, when I talked about these guys you said they might kill you, so I was wondering why you said that.

SA: No, no I don’t know. I am just saying that, of course. No, maybe they said that… No I’m just saying it, I’m just saying it. No, no, no. Nobody has threatened me, no.

DH: Uh-huh, ’cause you are a big strong guy… (laughs)…I don’t think you would be frightened of too many people.

SA: Ah, no, no, no. Nobody has.

DH: So, when I hear those stories, what should I think, Stephen? When those guys tell me these weird stories about the games being fixed beforehand, what should I think?

SA: What should you think? I think they are doing their work. They are gambling but the most important thing is the team. That’s why, the team. The players has to go back to the team. because of money they will take money and will do something stupid, you know. But the most important thing is that they are playing their game, and we are a team. How can a team go out because of gambling to lose? (17.59)