Sedibe asks police to look into fixing

2014-11-07 17:42

Johannesburg - Following recommendations by the public protector's office, former SAFA CEO Leslie Sedibe will ask police to investigate allegations of match-fixing involving the South African national team, he said in a statement on Friday.

Sedibe had asked Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's office to consider investigating Bafana Bafana matches played in May 2010, the year South Africa hosted the Soccer World Cup.

"I have since received a response from the public protector's office, via my attorneys, advising that the matter does not fall within their mandate notwithstanding the public interest in the matter," Sedibe said.

"Instead, the public protector's office has recommended that the matter be referred to the SA Police Service (SAPS)," he said.

"I can confirm that I will be pursuing this route with the SAPS."

He said he had repeatedly called for an independent and impartial investigation into the matter and had stated publicly, several times, that he was prepared to give his full co-operation and support to any such inquiry, provided it was independent.

"Just as an individual or an organisation cannot investigate itself, I am of the belief that Fifa cannot investigate these allegations based on its relationship with the current leadership of Safa," he said.

"If a Fifa statute has been breached, the organisation is within its rights to probe such a matter. However, allegations of match-fixing is another matter altogether.

"Match-fixing in South Africa is tantamount to corruption - and corruption in South Africa is a crime which must be investigated by the police."

During his tenure at the SA Football Association (SAFA), Sedibe, who is now the CEO of Section 21 organisation Proudly South African, signed a contract with Singapore company Football 4U.

According to a Fifa report into the alleged fixing, Football 4U had been linked to convicted match-fixer Wilson Perumal Raj, and several pre-World Cup matches were cast under suspicion after referees were provided, and paid, by Football 4U.

"The names of many individuals have been drawn into the allegations, including my own name.

"I have said before and I reiterate that I was never involved in any match-fixing and I am determined to maintain and protect my good name and reputation, but in doing so I will not subject myself to the indignity of any process whose outcome is already pre-determined as was the case in the initial investigation that was conducted by Fifa."