Safa to name and shame shady of­fi­cials

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

The SA Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (Safa) has vowed to crack down on cor­rupt match of­fi­cials in the ABC Mot­sepe League.

The sec­ond tier of South African foot­ball has been be­sieged by al­le­ga­tions of cor­rupt ac­tiv­i­ties in­volv­ing match and club of­fi­cials. Safa has ac­knowl­edged that, pre­vi­ously, there were is­sues with the league.

The over­all winner of the league is guar­an­teed not only a place in the Na­tional First Di­vi­sion (NFD), but also a R1 mil­lion pay­out.

At the end of the sea­son, all pro­vin­cial cham­pi­ons bat­tle it out in na­tional play-offs to de­ter­mine the top two teams that get pro­moted to the NFD.

As a re­sult, al­le­ga­tions of match-fix­ing and bribery have been lev­elled against some of­fi­cials in all nine prov­inces as they all want to get to the top.

Safa CEO Den­nis Mum­ble said they were aware of th­ese al­le­ga­tions and were tak­ing them se­ri­ously.

Mum­ble hinted that Safa would in­volve lawen­force­ment agen­cies in an ef­fort to curb cor­rup­tion.

He also urged peo­ple to come for­ward with any in­for­ma­tion they have on th­ese ne­far­i­ous ac­tiv­i­ties.

“We are se­ri­ous about fight­ing crime in our foot­ball and get­ting rid of cor­rupt peo­ple. With­out go­ing into much de­tail, we have al­ready put mea­sures in place to ar­rest those in­volved. Our net is clos­ing in on them,” said Mum­ble.

He said ref­er­ees would have to sign in­tegrity dec­la­ra­tions, where they com­mit to up­hold the val­ues of eth­i­cal con­duct.

“They must un­der­stand that fail­ure to re­port any match-fix­ing, or at­tempts to fix matches, will re­sult in sanc­tions.”

Mum­ble de­nied al­le­ga­tions that not enough was be­ing done to root out cor­rupt ac­tiv­i­ties.

“The only prob­lem is that we don’t make noise about it. We now need to put ev­ery­thing out there and shame those who are in­volved.”

He said some prov­inces were not fol­low­ing the set fix­tures, pos­ing prob­lems for the foot­ball as­so­ci­a­tion.

“We had is­sues in North West and Lim­popo, where fix­tures were not fol­lowed to the let­ter. This was a cause for con­cern for us. We have since in­structed pro­vin­cial co­or­di­na­tors to stick to the fix­tures as they are aligned to the head of­fice.”

Mum­ble said they had also re­alised that, in some in­stances, for­mer match com­mis­sion­ers had joined clubs and cur­rent match of­fi­cials were not aware of this.

“This cre­ates a prob­lem be­cause they have a re­la­tion­ship. What we have de­cided to do now is take those who have joined clubs out of the sys­tem and make our of­fi­cials aware of this.”

As of last week, Safa has been con­duct­ing fit­ness tests in var­i­ous prov­inces to de­ter­mine the level of of­fi­cials’ fit­ness.

Safa will also ap­point top of­fi­cials to some of the games where the stakes are high, Mum­ble said.

PHOTO: SAMUEL SHIVAMBU / BACKPAGEPIX

NO NONSENSE Den­nis Mum­ble wants to root out cor­rup­tion

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