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Tue Jul 26 04:42:26 SAST 2016

FIFA probe into SA match-fixing: Here’s the dope

TMG Digital | 14 March, 2016 15:20
Carlos Alberto Parreira chats to Leslie Sedibe (CEO of SAFA) during the South African soccer team squad announcement from Elangeni Hotel on March 04, 2010 in Durban, South Africa. The squad announcement is held prior to their departure to Brazil for a month-long training camp. File photo
Image by: Steve Haag / Gallo Images

A FIFA report into match-fixing of friendly matches leading up to the 2010 World Cup focused on seven matches‚ played between May 16 and June 10 2010.

Five of those matches involved the senior men's national team‚ Bafana Bafana.

The investigation led to an announcement on Monday of a five-year ban and a fine being imposed on former South African Football Association CEO Leslie Sedibe. Two other officials were suspended for two years.

Banned former SAFA CEO Leslie Sedibe failed three tests under FIFA's code of ethics

Times Media Sports Staff reported on the FIFA investigation in January 2013. Here are the highlights from the team’s summary of the report:

  • One of the most serious findings was there was a “very real possibility” that some South African Football Association staff were corrupted by an international criminal syndicate called Football4U‚ which was masterminded by Tan Seet Eng (aka Dan Tan)‚ described as a financier from Singapore.
  • Dan’s alleged frontman with Safa was Wilson Perumal Raj. He was later arrested for match-fixing and imprisoned in Finland. Perumal was also part of the Asiagate match-fixing scandal involving the Zimbabwe national team.
  • Perumal and his agents ingratiated themselves with Safa officials‚ offering to arrange friendly matches and referees while picking up the tab‚ according to the report by FIFA officials. The report said Safa broke FIFA rules by allowing Football4U to appoint referees.
  • FIFA found Bafana’s 5-0 win over Guatemala on May 31‚ 2010 had been fixed‚ measuring up to a “criminal standard”.

It cleared only one match completely — that between SA and Denmark on June 5‚ 2010.

It was unable to make a finding of similar certainty on the other five matches due to lack of evidence and the “evasive and unhelpful approach to the investigation” by most Safa staff.

-Sedibe is expected to comment on the FIFA statement later on Monday.

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