Ac­cused hit back at Safa for ig­nor­ing king­pin

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

Match of­fi­cials im­pli­cated in the lat­est match-fix­ing scan­dal al­lege they were in­structed by a top Safa of­fi­cial to sway games in favour of one par­tic­u­lar club at last year’s ABC Mot­sepe League na­tional play-offs.

A fort­night ago, Safa sus­pended six match of­fi­cials for their al­leged in­volve­ment in fix­ing matches at last year’s na­tional play-offs in Bloem­fontein. They have been taken off the panel of ref­er­ees un­til their case is fi­nalised.

But now the im­pli­cated match of­fi­cials have ac­cused Safa of shield­ing the al­leged mas­ter­mind be­hind the scan­dal.

They are ques­tion­ing why Safa has only tar­geted them and not the “big fish” im­pli­cated, after al­leg­ing that he told them to carry out his in­struc­tions.

A source close to one of the ac­cused told City Press that the of­fi­cials were up­set at the turn of events, after they had been led to be­lieve that the process would be fair to all par­ties con­cerned.

He said one of­fi­cial told him that they had come for­ward with in­for­ma­tion as they were tired of be­ing in­volved in cor­rupt ac­tiv­i­ties.

“He said they vol­un­teered the in­for­ma­tion after re­al­is­ing the cor­rup­tion would not stop. He was sur­prised that Safa had not acted against the al­leged mas­ter­mind, who is still roam­ing free,” said the source.

“He said it was un­fair that he and other of­fi­cials had been sus­pended and charged with cor­rup­tion, while noth­ing had hap­pened to the king­pin. How will peo­ple re­veal in­for­ma­tion in fu­ture if this is what tran­spires?”

The source said the of­fi­cial de­nied that he and his co-ac­cused had fixed matches dur­ing the play­offs. “He is wor­ried that they could be charged with cor­rup­tion when all they did was for­ward in­for­ma­tion to the au­thor­i­ties. He said no club has com­plained about how they of­fi­ci­ated at the play-offs.

“He de­nies ever fix­ing matches at the play-offs, but ad­mits to hav­ing been ap­proached by an of­fi­cial, who said the in­struc­tion was from a Safa em­ployee.

“He says they should be charged with mis­con­duct, not cor­rup­tion, as they never took money.”

Asked if money did ex­change hands, the ac­cused could not say how much they were of­fered to carry out the in­struc­tions.

A Safa of­fi­cial said a pre­trial hear­ing would be held next week to de­ter­mine if the sus­pended of­fi­cials had any case to an­swer.

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