ZURICH – Three senior Fifa officials have been accused of ‘gross acts of misconduct’ whilst playing FIFA Soccer 96 on the Sega Genesis. In a damning report this week , Nicolas Leoz, Issa Hayatou and Ricardo Teixeira are all alleged to have taken advantage of numerous loopholes in the popular video game, including the ability to score from the halfway line at will.
The report suggests that all three took advantage to win games against opponents who were unaware of how horribly unbalanced the game was. Also cases of players being bribe to throw games by ‘accidentally’ unplugging controller, scoring own goals and keeping players stationary while letting player two take the goalkeeper all the way to the opposition penalty area to score a winning goal.
The three men have denied the allegations of bad sportsmanship, challenging accusers to provide the save game files to prove guilt.
Mr Hayatou, Fifa vice-president representing football in African nations, was quoted in one leaked email with the subject “Yesterday”, saying “Oh! Remember how badly you got beat son. FROM THE HALFWAY LINE!!! Don’t hate the player, hate the game!”
A former FIFA account manager, who choose to remain anonymous, said that staff had long suspected cheating was going on ever since he was destroyed by his EA Dream Team.
He added that these allegations were irrelevant in this day and age when FIFA 11 had just come out, adding that taking advantage of the bugs were just part of the experience back then. “It’s not my fault you can score from the half way line…it’s not cheating, it’s just the way the system is built.”
Profiles: FIFA Soccer 96 Accused
Nicolas Leoz [GamerTag: SmokesMadBluntsXX]
President of South America’s football federation, Mr Leoz is a long-time player of the FIFA series ever since FIFA International Soccer in 1993.
The 82-year-old Paraguayan, the oldest of FIFA player on record is a lawyer profession, but describes himself as still able to put up a game against anyone ‘brave enough to pick up the controller against me’.
He says his favourite football match of all time was his defeat of England, playing as Argentina in FIFA: Road to World Cup 98.
Issa Hayatou [Gamertag: Cheetah]
The 64-year-old Cameroonian has been a steady payer of the series since switching from ISS and playing FIFA Soccer 95 instead.
He is also a member of a local online FIFA league, and helped organise the 11 vs 11 match between his office and the bakery down the street.
His decades as the best African FIFA Soccer gamer have not been without controversy.
He received strong criticism earlier this year after a game between himself and a rival gamer ended with accusations he had given his opponent and ‘busted controller’ which lead to a 7-1 win for Hayatou. He continues to deny the charges.
Ricardo Teixeira [GamerTag: ShowMeTheMoney]
Ricardo Teixeira, 63, has been considered to be the best FIFA Soccer player over 50 for years since his closest rival died of cardiac arrest in 2006.
Mr Texeira was married to Lucia Havelange, daughter of former Fifa president Joao Havelange, for almost 30 years until their divorce, sparked by continued arguments over whether FIFA was better than Pro Evolution Soccer.
It remains to be seen how the new will affect the voting for the 2018 2022 tournament hosting.
At a recent press conference, Fifa president Sepp Blatter was asked about the allegations to which he replied: “Should it be knowledgeable to us that these guy cheat on the game, then naturally we would have to look at that. Maybe organise a rematch or something.”
However, Fifa’s media office, when asked how that would be facilitated, said they had no idea as they no longer had access to a working Genesis machine.