In-depth in­ves­ti­ga­tion con­tin­ues, while clubs ready for of new sea­son

Open­ing matches

CityPress - - Sport - TI­MOTHY MOLOBI ti­mothy@city­press.co.za

The PSL in­ves­ti­ga­tion into al­le­ga­tions of match-fix­ing has al­ready nabbed one sus­pect. This was dis­closed by the league’s CEO, Brand de Vil­liers, who told City Press that one club of­fi­cial would be charged next month.

De Vil­liers de­clined to re­veal the iden­tity of the of­fi­cial and said the in­ves­ti­ga­tion was not yet fin­ished.

“He will ap­pear be­fore our dis­ci­plinary com­mit­tee early next month, where he will be charged of­fi­cially.

“I can’t name the per­son un­til he ap­pears be­fore the dis­ci­plinary com­mit­tee. We take the al­le­ga­tions in a se­ri­ous light and want to fol­low the right pro­ce­dure so we don’t get chal­lenged at the end for not fol­low­ing the proper chan­nels.

“We would rather take our time to get it right, in­stead of rush­ing it,” he said.

De Vil­liers added that league pros­e­cu­tors had in­ter­viewed about 11 peo­ple.

This was af­ter Moroka Swal­lows lodged an of­fi­cial com­plaint in May re­lated to al­leged match-fix­ing in the rel­e­ga­tion bat­tle.

Swal­lows and AmaZulu then ap­plied for an ur­gent in­ter­dict – for the play-offs to be stopped – but lost the case. Both clubs have since been rel­e­gated to the Na­tional First Di­vi­sion.

Mean­while, de­fend­ing league cham­pi­ons Kaizer Chiefs will be­gin their ti­tle de­fence away to Chippa United on the open­ing week­end of the new sea­son.

Af­ter host­ing Chiefs, United will travel to Gaut­eng for a meet­ing with Or­lando Pi­rates in their sec­ond game. The Bucs play Su­perS­port United in their open­ing fix­ture.

Although Pi­rates’ two open­ing fix­tures will co­in­cide with their CAF Con­fed­er­a­tion Cup matches, they will play their league fix­tures mid­week.

De Vil­liers said he did not en­vis­age any fix­ture con­ges­tion next sea­son.

He said the league had made pro­vi­sion for the na­tional Un­der-23s if they qual­i­fied for the CAF Un­der- 23 cham­pi­onships in Sene­gal in Novem­ber. The eight-team tour­na­ment will be used as a qual­i­fier for next year’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

De Vil­liers added that this was done in con­junc­tion with Safa, which had made it clear that the qual­i­fiers were a pri­or­ity this year.

But first Owen da Gama’s team needs to get over the hur­dle of beat­ing Zim­babwe next month.

The first round of league matches will see the newly pro­moted Jomo Cos­mos and Golden Ar­rows start­ing life in the Absa Premier­ship against Mar­itzburg United and the Univer­sity of Pre­to­ria.

The two new­com­ers will play each other in their sec­ond games.

PHOTO: SA­MUEL SHIVAMBU / BACKPAGEPIX

MAK­ING PROGRESS PSL CEO Brand de Vil­liers says match­fix­ing al­le­ga­tions are be­ing taken very se­ri­ously

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