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Aboubakar and Billong: Fecafoot and Cameroon coach Conceicao dismiss Super Lig match-fixing allegations

18:08 BST 16/06/2021
Aboubakar, Billong
The Indomitable Lions players have been reportedly accused of fixing a game in the Turkish top-flight last season

The Cameroonian Football Federation (Fecafoot) and Cameroon coach Toni Conceicao have dismissed reports accusing Vincent Aboubakar and Jean-Claude Billong of match-fixing during a Turkish Super Lig encounter between Besiktas and Hatayspor.

Several reports are claiming that Billong and Aboubakar had an agreement prior to the game on May 1 for the Black Eagles to win, with the latter allegedly promising to help the 27-year-old get an invitation into the Indomitable Lions' set-up.

Besiktas defeated Hatayspor 7-0 with the visitors conceding five goals in the first-half and Billong was replaced at half-time, however, Aboubakar was not present for the encounter.

Following the match, Hatayspor moved to terminate Billong’s contract but Fecafoot on Wednesday, took steps to defend the two national team players involved in the unverified allegations.

“Fecafoot is outraged by the weakness, ease and emptiness of the accusations made against these players, which are not based on any evidence. Vincent Aboubakar and Jean Claude Billong are two Indomitable Lions who have always been characterized by remarkable sporting behaviour and impeccable ethics,” the Fecafoot statement read.

“Fecafoot has total confidence in the two players of the Indomitable Lions and gives them all its support in the face of the cabal of which they are the object.”

Billong earned his maiden invitation to the Cameroon national team at the end of the 2020-21 season, and he made his debut in a 1-0 friendly win over Nigeria earlier this month.

Conceicao, in his own reaction, described the centre-back and Aboubakar as ‘very good boys’ who make his team on merit.

“I disavow the attempt to involve my players in this matter. They are two very good boys. The coach chooses the Indomitable Lions players, the only criterion is merit. This will be the case as long as I am the head of this great team,” the Portuguese coach wrote on Twitter.

The allegations have not gone down well in Turkey, with Hatayspor honorary president Lutfu Savas insisting that Billong did not block some goal-bound chances during the match.

“Billong got a tattoo on his leg one day before the game. He applied some creams to relieve the pain. It is known that the area that was tattooed is sensitive for a week,” Savas told Goal. “Therefore, he avoided possible contact on his leg by turning his back to some of the strikes. We gave away some chances and we conceded goals.

“I would not want to have such a player in my club. I had a discussion with the board and we terminated his contract. That’s all I know. Also, big teams like Besiktas have also conceded so many goals sometimes, it happens in football.

“We terminated Billong’s contract due to his fault, not for something else. If you have any doubts, you can go to court. These claims are nothing but shameful.”

Besiktas president Ahmet Nur Cebi, on the other hand, has also commented on the allegations and he maintains that the Black Eagles clinched their 16th Super Lig crown fairly.

“It is a disgraceful lie. If that’s the way they use to consolidate themselves, that’s fine. The championships of Besiktas are all clean as a whistle,” Cebi told Goal.