It could be the weirdest case of trying to manipulate an international football match so far. Both world football governing body FIFA and their European body UEFA agreed on friday to investigate the international friendly between Bulgaria and Estonia, which was played on Wednesday at the Turkish resort of Antalya amid allegations of possible manipulations.
The international friendly had ended in a two-all draw, but what raised speculations was the fact that all four goals came off penalties. A fact which I haven't heard about. Interestingly an earlier match that day at the same venue had Latvia winning 2-1 against Bolivia and there too all goals came off penalties.
The two matches are said to have been organised by a sports management agency from Thailand and now there could be a link to Asian betting snydicates.
Interestingly there was also confusion about the referee from Hungary. While the Bulgarian Football Union and the Estonian Football Association are saying that the match referee was a certain Krisztian Selmeczi, the Hungarian referees' chief Laszlo Wagner and Hungarian media have indicated the referee was Selmeczi's fellow countryman Kolos Lengyel. Until clearance the referee plus his assistants Lengyel and Janos Csak have been suspended.
"FIFA contacted us and requested a full report from the Bulgarian Football Union (BFU) and also said they would receive a report from the Estonian FA," a BFU official who declined to be identified told Reuters.
"We received information of possible manipulation even before the game as the same agency also organised the match between Latvia and Bolivia and there was the same scenario there," Estonia FA spokesman Mihkel Uiboleht told Reuters.