18 December 2012

Kenya: Referee Langat Denies South Africa Match Doctoring Charges

The centre referee in charge of one of the Bafana Bafana matches under match-fixing claims review has denied the game was doctored.

Speaking to Capital Sport on Tuesday, Samuel Langat, who was the leading official when South Africa beat Colombia 2-1 in May 2010, also trashed allegations he was involved with jailed fixer, Singaporean Wilson Perumal Raj.

"That match was not fixed. It was well officiated and even FIFA General Secretary Jerome Valcke was present.

"I don't know why they are saying this now and no one from FIFA has talked to me about the game or anything suspicious about it," Langat said.

The match was settled in favour of the hosts through three penalties with Teko Modise and striker Katlego Mphela netting for Bafana while Giovanni Moreno converted his kick for non-World Cup 2010 qualifiers Colombia.

"I'm refuting those allegations and they are false. It is wrong to bring up such claims two years after the World Cup and as far as I'm concerned, there is nothing we did wrong," Langat said of the match that marked the official opening of Soccer City, the majestic venue that hosted the 2010 World Cup final.

Elias Kuloba who officiated alongside him as his assistance declined to comment on the matter, offering, "It is only the federation that can speak on the issue since I work under them."

Football Kenya Federation (FKF) publicity official, John Kariuki, told Capital Sport that the alleged match-fixing claims involving the three officials took place under the tenure of the former Football Kenya Limited regime that was ousted last year.

"We shall inform you if the world body contacts us regarding the issue," the FKF official added.

The Columbia game that formed part of the Bafana build-up for their home World Cup is among four games under review in the investigations that saw South Africa Football Association president, Kirsten Nemantandani and four other top officials proceed on voluntary leave from their posts on Monday.

Bafana's record 5-0 mauling of Guatemala, 4-0 thrashing of Thailand and their 1-1 draw against Bulgaria in May 2010 are the other games alleged to have been fixed with Perumal organising the referees for the contentious games.

The Singaporean is said to have been running an Asian betting ring through his firm Football4U.

Three penalties for handball were awarded by Niger referee Ibrahim Chaibou in the South Africa versus Guatemala game on May 31 with world body FIFA seeking the referee for more than a year for questioning over his handling of several matches.

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