Rio de Janeiro, Nov 27 Brazil’s Bahia State Football Federation (FBF) has demanded an immediate investigation by its national counterpart, the CBF, into claims of rigging against Campeonato Brasileiro champions Cruzeiro.
The FBF sent a written request to the CBF Tuesday amid the fallout from Cruzeiro’s shock 2-1 loss to relegation-threatened Vasco da Gama Saturday, reported Xinhua.
Controversy surrounded television footage that appeared to catch Cruzeiro and former Real Madrid forward Julio Baptista telling opponent Cris to “hurry up and score another goal”.
The result lifted Vasco to within two points of the safety zone while Bahia are three points clear of the relegation-bound bottom four.
“We don’t want to accuse anybody,” FBF president Ednaldo Rodrigues said. “We only want the CBF to seek an explanation for what was said. We are in the home stretch of the competition and Bahia does need to be exposed to this now. There are only two games left and the club needs to remain focused.”
Brazil’s superior sports tribunal (STJD) Monday launched a probe into the match-fixing claims, with prosecutor Paulo Schmitt vowing Baptista’s comments would be fully investigated.
A ban on gambling in Brazil has led to a thriving illegal sports betting market.