The Super Eagles Midfielder Ogenyi Onazi has denied any involvement in match-fixing after being caught up in a newspaper sting.
Onazi, 21, was caught on camera – planted by English paper The Sun – meeting with player agent Henry Chukwuma Okoroji and an alleged match-fixer. The fixer claimed he could ensure a yellow card for £40,000 and a penalty for more than £80,000 during matches at the 2014 finals in Brazil.
Onazi, who plays his club football for Lazio, took to Twitter on Sunday night to insist he was only present at the meeting to discuss an “endorsement proposition”.
“My attention has been drawn to a publication relating to issues about match-fixing,” Onazi posted on the social media site.
“First, let me state unequivocally that I have no link whatsoever to any individual or group with ties to the corrupt issues of match fixing.
“A certain Mr Okoroji was mentioned in the publication. My previous contact with Mr Okoroji was based on the fact that we are both Nigerians. As a matter of fact, I am surprised to learn that Mr Okoroji is a Fifa-licensed agent.
“On the day of this meeting, he had earlier told me that his associates had an endorsement proposition for my consideration.
“I duly informed my friend who manages my affairs.
“When I got to the meeting, I found out it was all about fixing matches. I told them a resounding NO and left.
“Interestingly, this is the same version sated (sic) in the publication.”
This comes days after the National Crime Agency (NCA) investigated allegations that the Super Eagles’ game with Scotland had been targeted by criminal syndicates with unusually high betting stakes.