Bafana Bafana

SAFA approach FIFA again

2013-06-19 18:14
Kirsten Nematandani (File)
Johannesburg -The South African Football Association has asked FIFA to investigate corruption allegations made against the national federation in an anonymous dossier, potentially leading to a second probe into issues around the 2010 World Cup.

Two months after agreeing to a government-led independent inquiry into possible match-fixing in national team games weeks ahead of the World Cup, SAFA said Wednesday it wanted FIFA's help with an "impartial" investigation into accusations it misused World Cup funds after the historic tournament, the first in Africa.

SAFA spokesman Dominic Chimhavi said that the request was made in a letter addressed to FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke from SAFA chief executive Dennis Mumble on June 8.

Chimhavi said SAFA had made an "urgent request" for FIFA's help in the letter.

The dossier alleging corruption, which was reportedly delivered to South Africa's Olympic committee headquarters and a special police unit, accuses SAFA of misusing money from the World Cup legacy fund, Chimhavi said.

FIFA and SAFA have previously denied the accusations, with FIFA saying the money left to South African football from the World Cup can only be accessed with the agreement of FIFA, SAFA and the South African government.

Still, the allegations are worrying enough for SAFA to ask for FIFA's help, with South Africa's sports ministry strongly critical of the running of the football body and itself considering looking into the allegations of financial mismanagement contained in the dossier.

"The most troubling allegation is financial irregularities," Chimhavi said.

"People are saying we misused money. There are a number of allegations just thrown in there (in the dossier).

"We don't know where it is coming from."

The South African government has yet to appoint a commission to look into the match-fixing suspicions after FIFA raised fears that there was "compelling evidence" of manipulation in at least one of South Africa's friendlies ahead of the World Cup.

The games haven't been identified but South Africa's 5-0 win over Guatemala and 2-1 win over Colombia in late May 2010 — a few weeks before the World Cup kicked off — have long been under suspicion after referees awarded a high amount of dubious penalties.

The commission to investigate the match-fixing allegations will be appointed by South African President Jacob Zuma after FIFA agreed to the government intervention provided it only investigates fixing allegations.

FIFA also wants its own ethics committee prosecutor Michael Garcia to be on the commission.

The world football body has warned that a government investigation into any other issues, including the corruption allegations, would go against its rules forbidding government interference and could lead to South Africa being suspended from FIFA.

Read more on:    safa  |  fifa  |  dennis mumble  |  johannesburg  |  soccer

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