13 February 2013

South Africa: SAFPU Statement On the Sentencing of Mr. Phil Setshedi

As SAFPU we welcome the decision by the Bellville specialised commercial crime court sentencing of former Orlando Pirates and Bafana Bafana assistant coach Phil Setshedi. The successful prosecution of Mr Setshedi is a demonstration that, this beautiful game can no longer tolerate corruption in any form as it deprives many a player a legitimate opportunity to ply their trade at any level of football in this country and anywhere else. One such form of corruption in football is match fixing.

Match fixing doesn’t only deprive deserving players the opportunity to ply their trade at a higher level, but also deprives the country in particular Bafana Bafana what would be great arsenals to assist and contribute the national agenda.

Match fixing has a direct impact on the development of football in the country. This sentencing will assist in sharing some light as to what happens to the talent that we get exposed to during the playing season only to evaporate or diminishes the minute it hits top flight. Simply put the development of football can’t be hindered by things such as match fixing. We need to find a long lasting solution to this epidemic /cancer in our football. The question that becks for an answer as well are how many more matches have been fixed. Who is the perpetrator, who was representing who.

It is our view that this is just a tip of an ice bag. These corrupt practises must come to an end. It is also our contention that corruption in football goes beyond match fixing, clubs collude when it comes to players’ salaries, preferring to pay slavery salary, players are not allowed to leave certain clubs cause if they do they will not play football again as they are normally told. This kind of collusion that restricts the movement of trade should be investigated.

These are corrupt tendencies; we should move away from this practise that holds and treat players as commodities. This kind of practise also deprives the nation talent that could advance the national agenda. This further goes to the extent where some coaches and agents collude in doing business, some coaches work only with certain agents, which could deprive other players the right to play call on.

We need to level the playing fields. As much as there is investigation in other sectors such as constructions and the likes we need to investigate the beautiful game and hope that the results of such won’t be kept in high offices gathering dust somewhere.

The sentencing of Mr. Setshedi further serves as a warning to all people involved in match fixing/ corruption and anyone contemplating to commit such a heinous act will be met with the full might of the law. We further call on the establishment of a full commission of enquiry into corruption in football which will include but not limited to colluding, match fixing, relationship between agents and coaches. . As the union we will continue to fight and oppose /expose corruption in all forms within the sector we call on.

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