'Bribery claims hit SA soccer'

2010-08-20 08:52

Johannesburg - Corruption is rife in SAFA's Vodacom League, where the bribery of referees by club officials is the order of the day, according to a report on Sowetan website.

The startling revelation was made by top PSL referee Lwandile Mfika at the Semenya Commission of Inquiry in Rosebank, Johannesburg, on Thursday.

Mfika blamed the widespread bribery of referees in all nine provinces on SAFA's failure to pay match officials for services rendered.

"It (bribery of referees) is rife in the Vodacom League, it is an open secret there are guys doing it, it don't think it is happening only in the Eastern Cape.

"It is happening in all the nine provinces. I go to the matches in my area, some of the decisions (by referees) in that league are shocking.

"One or two teams are not doing it (bribing referees). In the PSL, we are paid on a regular basis, the PSL is really taking good care of us, our payments are done on a fixed date."

Mfika said some of the referees in the league, which is the third division of the South African soccer, have gone three to four years without being paid by SAFA.


  • RS - 2010-08-20 09:12

    Corruption, corruption, corruption. Everywhere where you turn, corruption is running rife in this beautiful country of ours. So dissapointing...

  • Dartmoor - 2010-08-20 09:24

    Shame, so they are not getting paid. Whatever happened to love of the game, personal pride and honesty? I coached grassroots football for six years without seeing a cent for it. It is no excuse, it is fraud. And fraudsters should go to jail. But, this is the ANC's country now, where the top dogs set the example for all to follow. Goodbye decency.

  • Hoo-Kaai! - 2010-08-20 09:24

    WOOOW, are you serious.. you guys must be joking, this has never happened in our beautiful country, whaaat, no you've got to be joking..!!

  • DeonL - 2010-08-20 09:45

    When will SAFA clean his office? Probably never!

  • Joe - 2010-08-20 09:45

    Why am I not suprprised!!! Sick country with sick people!!!

  • kearabetswe - 2010-08-20 09:47

    dats true teams of vodacom bribe refrees nd dat is nt a fair play

  • Benzo - 2010-08-20 10:01

    Was it not some (10-15) years ago that a bunch of referees were doing the same?? Soon after, Kaiser Chiefs and Orlando Pirates started to loose games and lost their almost guaranteed top positions. The refs were dismissed at the time. Have they been allowed back again????

  • booi booi - 2010-08-20 10:07

    Eish don't be so naive folks, this stuff reaches Zurich. These Jhb chaps are small fry. Sepp Blatter and all are super corrupt. See Jenkins writings on FIFA

  • GinaS - 2010-08-20 10:08

    WHATS NEW!!!! This is the order of the day in South Africa, "corruption and fraud" words that our children will learn from a young age and hopefully not make them part of their lives. Pay a buck and you will get your results. From the tender offices to the sports fields how disgusting can officials be.

  • gav - 2010-08-20 10:09


  • Dr - 2010-08-20 10:10

    I seriously am ashamed and embarrassed to be a black South African. I am in the process of immigrating, SA has now lost another very skilled and qualified person, I have 15 years cardiac, have given this country everything and what do I get in return?? I am very pleased to be turning my back on this country. SA you can KISS MY ASS!!!!

  • I'm a Ref - 2010-08-20 10:11

    I have watched Vodacom league matches over the years and I too have been amazed at some of the decisions made on the field of play, even though I'm a (long standing) active referee as well as coach at grassroots level. Owners of teams in our region have told me that the only way to get a fair game is to ask the Ref what the other side is paying him, and then match that amount. Any club rep. that wants to bring this to anyones attention then runs the risk that not only does the Vodacom league team, but also the club team playing in the Local Assosciation leagues are on the receiving ends of even more "strange" decisions, as the majority of the Referees officiate in both Local and Vodacom leagues.

  • Deonic - 2010-08-20 10:13

    Let's just review the SWC bid documents. Without ever looking at it, I can promise you that somewhere the development of the game "at all levels" and specific fields and all kinds of innivative dreams would have been mentioned. Now, there is a Billion coming from FIFA. Will it disappear in some pockets, or will it be applied for development of the game? I reserve my support to see how the Billion is allocated. Certainly referees in the third division should have their costs covered, plus a bit. I am going to refrain from comparing it with other sports, but things are a lot better in the other big sports. Come on guys, you can't have "the beautiful game" with this going on.

  • dave clark - 2010-08-20 10:14

    We played in the Vodacom League 4/5 years ago.We were the only multiracial team in the league.we were constantly cheated,the referees used to ask my black players,why are you playing in a white team?We saw money changing hands on several occassions,but there was no recourse,total waste of money and time playing Vodacom,Castle league

  • TruBlu - 2010-08-20 10:15

    What do you expext - if the top dogs of this country (and I mean dogs - referring to African Nation Corruption)from the Zoo man and his family to all mps can corrupt and get away with it, then why not?? Next thing you will hear is "It is our culture".............frikkin dogs.........

  • Post-Cup - 2010-08-20 10:20

    Just over a month after the World Cup and our country seems to have fallen even lower than before.. I am not justifying referees being bribed but not paying someone for 4years... That is just as barbaric as the strike action currently taking place.. It should be a criminal offence, SAFA should be prosecuted and Nematandani charged. People, company owners, boardmembers, presidents need to start taking responsibility..

  • Rose - 2010-08-20 10:38

    Well if you have a goverment that is corrupt from the top it does not surprise me that there is corruption in soccer. Come SA let's move forward with the Lead SA campaigne and stop corruption here & now say no to bribes and be an example to our children. They are the leaders of tomorrow.

  • Sharia Law - 2010-08-20 10:38

    Time for a bit of Sharia Law for the convicted

  • david - 2010-08-20 10:39

    If you do not take good care of your dog it will feed itself on shit, these are are just men and women (not SAINTS!!) who wanted to put bread on the table for their families and they are not looked after by their superiors

  • TBone - 2010-08-20 10:52

    If corruption and greed is sanctioned by the leaders of this country, what are the moral obiligations not to persue the same values at lower echelons. What is good for the goose is good for the ganter. As long as our leaders persue personal enrichment, us citizens have the right to do the same.

  • tony - 2010-08-20 10:58

    statements without evidence is just as good as saying nothing. its not justifiable to say a referee has been bribed because he has made a whooping blunder. Go deeper to find out, eg their training and development, before concluding that the bad decision making is accounted to corruption. Its bad making such generalised statements considering that other referees are giving their best and even sacrifising their time and resources despite going without payments. I think its unfair Mr Mfika to make such unwarranted statements on national press

  • Makamba - 2010-08-20 11:03

    The ANC must be a very democratic and tolerant institution if you go by some of the trash they allow to be leveled at themselves by News24 readership. Well done ANC! You lead by example.

  • TBone - 2010-08-20 11:07

    If corruption and greed is sanctioned by the leaders of this country, what are the moral obiligations not to persue the same values at lower echelons. What is good for the goose is good for the ganter. As long as our leaders persue personal enrichment, us citizens have the right to do the same.

  • BAFANA - 2010-08-20 12:48

    Funny comments. I like the ones from the "holy" guys who are not even sticking to the topic. Sure ANC and Zuma and Africa ..... the list goes on but this one was about corruption in the VODACOM LEAGUE. Next topic the stike that has taken over SA. What a bunch of greedy morons hey, I tell you....

  • sheriff - 2010-08-20 13:07

    when my favourite team was still playing in that league,i could not beleive some of the dicision by the ref.the one i ll never ever forget was when we were playing in Villiers.not even on the dusty streets one would experience such reffering.

  • PLAYA @ GAV - 2010-08-20 14:58


  • UrsTruly - 2010-08-20 17:18

    Do not worry about it its part of the game...A team can still lose after paying

  • Bookworm - 2010-08-20 17:24

    Corruption is here to stay, I say if you cant beat them, join them! I got off a R900 traffic fine by slipping the officer a R100. I saw no need to pass more than that to my government who really is wasting it all. Take heed people of South Africa before our country lies in ruins. Not only soccer but rugby, cricket & horse racing too. Shame on us......

  • RJ - 2010-08-20 19:52

    Why then if this is old new is Vodacom still sponsoring this shambles. Surely they must take their money elsewhere or are they just putting it there as a sop to their conscience. "Oh look we are developing the garden boys" Vodacom you are a sham. Have a say in what is happening to your sponsorhips for goodness sake or take it elsewhere.

  • Ray.B.@RS et al - 2010-08-21 05:33

    Jackson Mthembu spokesman for the ANC says that there is no corruption in Gov.t, or Services. The media are hell bent on ridiculing the ANC and the Proposed law on Media control is to limit the falsehoods being spread about non existent Fraud and rape of the Public Purse by senior members of the party,Bookworm be assured your R100 gift to the traffic cop ensures that it will be spent on essentials unlike the R900 fine you would have paid to Gov.t this money would be spent on Cars,Luxury Hotels,Trips overseas,SWC tickets and other bling things. The traffic cops are lenient and will take any small amount if they see you are in distress. Be kind to traffic cops.

  • Michael - 2010-08-21 07:47

    Corruption in sport is a world wide problem. Why do people do it, it is because of greed. Some of the refs decisions in the SWC were also dubious. Were they paid, I hope not. To bring the ANC and Zuma into the fray as in comments above detract from the article. I am sure many of the detractors in the corruption in SA should have a hard look at them selves as well and maybe they are not as innocent as they believe.

  • 407 in Dubai - 2010-08-21 10:39

    There we go again the AAAAA NNNN CCCCC. aitog alles is nou die ANC se skuld shame Afrikaaners sal nou net nie reg kom nie. Hulle is mos nou untouchable hulle het niks gedoen nie vir 300 yaar van STEEL.

  • IZ IT - 2010-08-21 12:33


  • Mourning Democracy - 2010-08-21 14:28

    Since government figured out how to bribe the people with their own money, the country is on a down-hill slide. We tried to warn you guys. It is not over yet. Look for some real anarchy coming. Why was the strike postponed till after the WC? There is a deal in it with the ANC, if the strikers would not embarrass the government by striking at the WC, they would be free to do what they like afterwards. It is, after all, a communist regime feeling the chaffing of the constitution, and breaking that down is their first priority. Why all the shameless behavior? So that they can claim that democracy doesn't work and time for real communism, Joe Slovo style, is the answer. And what would you all do? Agree and dismantle the constitution and total anarchy would befall you all. It's not about wages, it's not about soccer. It's the disease of communism that's rupturing around you.

  • Zima - 2010-09-03 10:21

    What happened to the millions Fifa gave SAFA. We don't hear anything about that. Safa should give some penauts to the refs, the big money anyway will go to Jordan,Irwin & co. If you want to keeps the plebs quiet give them something as well.

  • Danso - 2010-09-10 12:02

    It is not only in the Vodacom League, it is worse in the SAFA promotional leagues where a game can take 2 & half hours until your opponent scores and the game is over. Some of us sponsor these boys out of our pockets and seeing the disappointment on their faces when these nonsense happens, simply breaks your heart. SAFA must get of their fat butts and do something before people lose their lives.

  • ZOLANI - 2010-09-10 14:11

    I tend to agree with what people are saying, if you do not feed your dog, it will find ways of feeding itself. Our soccer is rotten to the core with SAFA officials drowning themselves on gravy at the expense of other people. I'm not sure what to say anymore.

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