South Africa FA accused of match fixing during World Cup
A FIFA report into match fixing ahead of the 2010 World Cup has found compelling evidence that one or more games played by Bafana Bafana in the build-up to the global spectacle were fixed.
The report identifies various SAFA officials who interacted with the syndicate and FIFA has recommended that further examination of these officials takes place. The syndicate infiltrated SAFA by offering to assist with referee development. This happened ahead of the matches against Thailand, Colombia, Bulgaria, Guatemala and Denmark.
However the key question for SAFA is whether the officials implicated were deceived, or whether any of them were complicit and corrupt?
New SAFA CEO Robin Petersen says: “Clearly even if you are simply duped there are still questions to be asked as to how and why didn’t you follow the normal FIFA and SAFA principles around the appointment of referees which clearly says that the association must appoint the referees, why did you hand over?”
This will form the basis of the investigations. Once SAFA has the findings, it follows due process and take action against those found to have acted improperly or criminally. “There might be some action that takes place immediately if there is sufficient belief and legal opinion that we need to act against certain officials immediately even if it is to suspend them while we do further investigations,” says Peters.