SA bans agents choosing refs

2012-02-06 21:40
SAFA (File)

Johannesburg - South Africa have vowed not to allow agents appoint referees for friendly fixtures after allegations of match-fixing at pre-2010 World Cup warm-up games resurfaced.

The Sunday Times claimed matches against Thailand, Bulgaria, Guatemala and Colombia may have been fixed by Singaporean Wilson Raj Perumal, who is serving a two-year jail term in Finland for fixing matches there.

Perumal reportedly arranged the friendlies for South Africa on condition that he appoint the match officials as an under-prepared national squad desperately sought matches ahead of the global tournament.

A South African Football Association (SAFA) statement released on Monday said world governing body FIFA was pleased that SAFA has discontinued a practice of engaging agents to source referees.

FIFA appoints referees for World Cup qualifiers and continental body CAF chooses them for Cup of Nations fixtures, leaving host countries to select officials for friendlies.

"The association took a decision to revert to appointing referees (for friendlies) through our sister football associations as this will ensure full control and integrity of outcomes of all matches," the SAFA statement added.

A number of dubious penalties were awarded in the 5-0 win over Guatemala - a record victory margin for the South African national team - and a 2-1 triumph over Colombia.

Referees from Niger, Togo and Kenya handled the four warm-ups which triggered surprise as South Africa normally use match officials from countries in the region.

The Sunday Times said the Nigerian referee was also scheduled to handle a friendly against Denmark, but concerned SAFA officials replaced him with a local at the last minute.

Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) officials believe Perumal may have been the mastermind behind allegedly fixed matches involving the national team and a club side between 2007 and 2009 on tours of Malaysia and Thailand.

Former ZIFA chief executive Henrietta Rushwaya was arrested in Harare last week on charges of corruption, bribery and match-fixing and was granted bail on Monday.

Her arrest came days after 82 footballers implicated in the 'Asiagate' scandal were barred from representing the country, and ZiFA suspended three board members last year in a related move.

Read more on:    safa

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Who will claim the Premier League title at the end of the 2016/17 season?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.