One club fin­gered in match-fix­ing saga

CityPress - - Sport - TI­MOTHY MOLOBI ti­mothy@city­

Safa has of­fi­cially charged six match of­fi­cials al­leged to have been in­volved in match-fix­ing and cor­rup­tion.

Last week, City Press re­ported that the as­so­ci­a­tion had sus­pended six ref­er­ees and as­sis­tant ref­er­ees for their al­leged in­volve­ment in fix­ing matches at the ABC Mot­sepe League na­tional play­offs in Bloem­fontein last year.

The six, who can­not be named un­til they ap­pear be­fore a dis­ci­plinary com­mit­tee, have been taken off the ref­er­ee­ing panel and can­not of­fi­ci­ate at matches. Two of the sus­pended of­fi­cials serve on the in­ter­na­tional panel.

Safa’s le­gal man­ager, Te­bogo Mot­lanthe, con­firmed the charge sheet had been sent to the of­fi­cials.

He said they had been charged ac­cord­ing to Safa’s mis­con­duct rules and were ex­pected to at­tend a dis­ci­plinary hear­ing next week (see box).

City Press has learnt that some of the con­fes­sions de­tailed how the of­fi­cials col­luded to fix matches in favour of one team. The fin­gered club that ben­e­fited from th­ese cor­rupt ac­tiv­i­ties can­not be named be­fore its of­fi­cials are charged. Mot­lanthe kept mum about how they did it. “That will form part of the ev­i­dence in court and at our hear­ing, so we can’t dis­close it to the pub­lic. All we know is that they ad­mit­ted to have taken money to fix certain matches. We have got this on record from the whistle-blower.”

Mean­while, Mot­lanthe said the case in­volv­ing ABC Mot­sepe League cham­pi­ons Mac­cabi FC and Vaal Pro­fes­sion­als was post­poned to May 21 and 22.

A fort­night ago, City Press re­ported that po­lice in Vereenig­ing were in­ves­ti­gat­ing a case of al­leged match-fix­ing in­volv­ing Mac­cabi. The club’s of­fi­cials al­legedly of­fered money to Vaal Pro­fes­sion­als play­ers to ma­nip­u­late their match last month. Mot­lanthe said the two teams asked for a post­pone­ment. In­ter­est­ingly, Mac­cabi is rep­re­sented by Nor­man Arendse, who is a Safa na­tional ex­ec­u­tive mem­ber.

The club is to ap­proach the Cape Bar to check if his in­volve­ment does not con­sti­tute a conflict of interest.

It is be­lieved Pro­fes­sion­als also wanted to ap­ply to get the tele­phone records per­tain­ing to the al­leged trans­ac­tion.

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