South Africa launches soccer match fixing probe

17 December 2012 11:16

The South African Football Association (SAFA) Monday launched a probe into match fixing of friendlies before the 2010 World Cup and asked its president to step down for an undetermined period.

Following a report by football's world governing body FIFA into the rigged games, SAFA resolved that "a Commission of Enquiry be set up" and that "(SAFA) president (Kirsten Namatandani) would have to appear before the Commission of Enquiry to explain his role in the matter," it said in a statement.

"Having considered the implications of this for SAFA, the Committee asked the President to take a voluntary leave of absence from his position," the body added.

A retired judge is to head the probe, which will also call former CEO Lesley Sedibe and former head of referees Steve Goddard.

Vice-president Mwelo Nonkonyana will act as interim president.

The officials will have to explain how convicted Singapori match-fixer Wilson Raj Perumal arranged a deal for his scam company Football 4U International to organise friendlies with Guatamala, Colombia, Thailand and Bulgaria, which he then rigged.

SAFA's executive was never informed of the arrangement, which is against FIFA rules.

"SAFA apologised to FIFA, and undertook to take the urgent and serious actions to deal with the matter," it said.

A source inside the association earlier told the Sunday Sun high-profile people had been involved.

"The names are going to shock the soccer world. They were heavily involved and heads are going to roll. The names are going to embarass the association."

Source: AFP