15 December 2012

South Africa FA to Deliberate On FIFA Report On Match Fixing

Photo: Safa
South African Football Association (Safa) President Kirsten Nematandani.

Johannesburg — The Executive Committee of South Africa Football Association (SAFA) will meet on Sunday to discuss a FIFA report on match fixing. SAFA spokesperson, Dominic Chimhavi, said that the board would meet to deliberate on the FIFA report indicting SAFA of match fixing.

"The SAFA Emergency Committee met on Friday morning to receive the summary report and to discuss the appropriate action to take.

"Given that the full report had not yet been received, the board will look at the complexity of the issues raised in the summary report and their possible implications.

"The meeting was adjourned to Sunday," Chimhavi said in a statement on Saturday.

The report by the former Head of Security for FIFA, Chris Eaton, followed an investigation by FIFA into pre-World Cup 2010 international friendly matches.

The investigation, which began in March, was instigated at the request of SAFA in October last year, when speculations on the matches and the alleged role of an international match-fixing syndicate arose.

Eaton said that there was compelling evidence to support allegations of match fixing.

He spoke about the operations of a bogus football development company called "Football 4U", which was a front for an Asian-based betting syndicate headed by convicted match fixer, Wilson Raj Perumal.

The report said that Perumal and "Football 4U" managed to infiltrate SAFA prior to the World Cup, with an offer to assist with referees' development.

The offer included providing FIFA-accredited referees at their cost for friendly matches prior to the FIFA 2010 World Cup.

The report identified various SAFA officials who interacted with "Football 4U".

In his report, Eaton recommended "further examination" of the officials who were implicated.

Robin Petersen, the Chief Executive of SAFA, told newsmen that the decision by FIFA to investigate the match fixing allegations was a good one.

"It is apparent from the report that the decision to ask FIFA to investigate this matter was the correct one, as the full extent of the web of international crime is now exposed.

"After taking appropriate legal advice and following due process, we will take action against all who are found to have acted improperly or criminally in this matter.

"We have consistently stated and now, we will demonstrate that SAFA will not tolerate corruption of any form or poor governance around compliance with FIFA and SAFA statutes and regulations," Petersen said. NAN

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