South-Africa

Accused hit back at Safa for ignoring kingpin

2017-04-30 06:04

Johannesburg - Match officials implicated in the latest soccer 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.

Turn of events

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?”

Approached by an official

The source said the official denied that he and his co-accused had fixed matches during the play-offs.

“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 pre-trial hearing would be held shortly to determine if the suspended officials had any case to answer.

Read more on:    safa  |  johannesburg  |  soccer  |  match-fixing
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