16 February 2013

South Africa: Safa Suspends Match Officials Implicated in the Phil Setshedi Case

Following a series of corruption allegations in the SAFA 2nd Division in 2010, SAFA approached the Hawks to assist it in rooting out the scourge. On the surface, it appeared that an organised effort was underway to fix the outcomes of matches in SAFA's highest amateur league.

In the two years following this complaint, the Association provided the Hawks with several leads to possible corrupt activity in football. These leads led to the sting operation that resulted in the conviction of Mr Phil Setshedi.

"Whilst SAFA was able to substitute match officials with ones from other provinces from time to time to prevent matches from being fixed, we had to do something to ensure that the practice is stopped", said Mr Mlungisi Ncame, SAFA's Head of Security.

SAFA then initiated the sting operation on Phil Setshedi in Cape Town in 2011 and worked closely with law enforcement authorities throughout to secure a conviction.

In 2012, the National Executive Committee (NEC) set up a whistle-blower policy and established the Whistle-Blower Hotline which can be used by members of the public to report any suspicious activities in football.

The SAFA NEC will approve a revised comprehensive anti-corruption policy for approval at the end of March, which policy will further close any match fixing loopholes.

Match officials implicated in the Phil Setshedi matter have now been suspended.

The Association will also summon the club implicated in this matter to a disciplinary hearing. Should the club or anyone be found liable in this matter, the Association will pursue the strongest possible sentence under its rules to demonstrate its zero tolerance to any corrupt behaviour in football.

"This is a serious statement, match fixing has no place in our society and anyone who might be toying with the idea, be warned," said SAFA President, Kirsten Nematandani.

"Match fixing and corruption in football is becoming a global cancer and we as SAFA would like to send out a strong statement that anyone caught engaging in this unlawful activity would face the full wrath of the law," he added.

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