2010 SWC friendlies 'fixed'
Johannesburg - A
FIFA report into match-fixing in the weeks before the 2010 Soccer World Cup
has found "compelling evidence" that one or more friendly games
involving host South Africa were fixed ahead of the world's showpiece
The South African
Football Association conceded on Saturday that it had been "infiltrated"
two years ago by now-convicted match-fixer Wilson Perumal and his
"bogus" football company Football4U - which was actually a front for
Asian betting syndicates.
players have been implicated in fixing matches. Instead, referees
appointed by Perumal's Football4U were thought to have manipulated one
or more of South Africa's World Cup buildup games for betting markets.
Perumal could have been aided by some South African officials, SAFA
"The full extent of the
web of international crime is now exposed," SAFA chief executive Robin
Petersen said after South Africa received the report from FIFA.
didn't immediately identify the games but South Africa's 5-0 win over
Guatemala and 2-1 win over Colombia in late May 2010 - two weeks before
the World Cup kicked off - were under suspicion.
penalties for handball were awarded by Niger referee Ibrahim Chaibou in
the South Africa-Guatemala game on May 31, with two of them clearly
incorrect. Chaibou is also being sought for questioning by FIFA for his
handling of other suspicious games in Africa, Asia and South America,
where a high number of penalties were awarded, apparently to feed
All three goals
in the South Africa-Colombia game on May 27, which was refereed by a
Kenyan official, came from penalty kicks. That match was the official
opening of South Africa's redeveloped Soccer City showpiece stadium,
which hosted Spain's victory over Netherlands in the World Cup final a
little over a month later.
South Africa also beat Thailand 4-0 and drew with Bulgaria 1-1 in games to prepare for the World Cup.
FIFA report addresses the question as to whether one or more of the
pre-World Cup friendly matches was fixed and finds compelling evidence
that this was indeed the case," SAFA said in a statement released in the
early hours of Saturday and acknowledging the receipt of FIFA's report
SAFA said its
emergency committee would continue to study the report compiled by
FIFA's former head of security, Chris Eaton, over the weekend and take
legal advice before deciding on a course of action.
allegations of fixing in the World Cup buildup, SAFA asked FIFA to take
over the investigation. The world football body began looking at the
matches in March this year.
no players were thought to be involved in the fixing, SAFA would now
investigate some of its own officials on the advice of the FIFA report
to see if they colluded with Perumal's Football4U agency "with criminal
intent" to help appoint referees and fix matches.
report identifies various SAFA officials who interacted with
Football4U, and recommends that 'further examination' of these officials
should take place," SAFA said.
had already acknowledged that it became suspicious of the match
officials taking charge of some of its pre-World Cup friendlies and
decided to replace Chaibou at short notice as referee for South Africa's
final warm-up game, a 1-0 win over Denmark on June 5, 2010.
Perumal is now in jail in Finland for fixing games there, while
match-fixing scandals have also hit Turkey, Italy, South Korea and South
Africa's neighbor, Zimbabwe, among others.
national association recently banned players, coaches and its former
chief executive for life for involvement in fixing games for Perumal's
betting syndicates on national team tours to Asia as far back as 2009.
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