Bribing Allegations Involving Berekum Chelsea Rock African Champions League
The African Champions League was hit by controversy when Ghanaian club Berekum Chelsea "denied being offered money by four-time winners and 2010 Club World Cup finalist TP Mazembe to lose their final group game," according to the AP. Less than a month after Tunisian side E.S. Sahel was thrown out of the competition for fan unrest in its match against Esperance, Berekum called a news report in Tunisia claiming bribes were offered at a meeting by Mazembe offcials to throw Sunday's Group B game "utterly false." Mazembe has just returned to "the often troubled continental club competition" after being disqualified last season for fielding an ineligible player. The report alleged that surprise finalist at the Club World Cup two years ago Mazembe wanted Berekum to lose "so the Congolese team could finish top of their group and avoid Group A winners and defending champions Esperance of Tunisia in next month's semifinals." Berekum CEO Nana Kwame Nketiah denied any meeting with Mazembe officials took place ahead of the match and warned media "to desist from spreading such false reports, or we will be forced to take legal action to salvage our hard-earned reputation" (AP, 9/17).