Cape Town - The South
African Football Association (SAFA) has lauded the action of South African
match officials who refused to be bribed ahead of an important CAF African
Confederations Cup tie between Plateau United of Nigeria and Algeria’s USM
Gomes was approached to fix the result of the first-leg clash (United
won 2-1) that took place this past weekend (Saturday, 7 April 7) in Nigeria,
but instead reported the matter to the Confederation of African Football (CAF),
who are investigating the issue.
“Our referees have
conducted themselves impeccably well in the sense that they were able to
identify and report the issue immediately to CAF for them to make further
investigations on the matter. Because it was a CAF appointment, they wrote a
report and sent it to them, and they (CAF) are dealing with it,” said SAFA’s
Head of Referees, Tenda Masikhwa.
Gomes was in Lagos
where he was assisted by Johannes Moshidi and Athenkosi Ndongeni, together with
Thando Ndzandzeka, who was the fourth official. The 35-year-old said they
were offered US$30 000 (R362 556) in cash but turned it down and
immediately reported the matter to CAF.
Masikhwa says the
honesty displayed by Gomes and company is partly because of the integrity
workshops being conducted by SAFA throughout the country. Part of the integrity
workshops is early detection of corrupt activities and reporting them to
authorities without delay.
“Our officials showed
the rest of the continent and the world that they won’t tolerate corruption
within the game. We are proud of what they did and this is why South African
referees are so much sought after and are highly regarded on the continent,”
said Masikhwa as quoted by SAFA's website.
“On 13-14 February
this year, we held an Integrity Workshop in Sandton, Johannesburg where two
FIFA representatives articulated the need to have honest and upright match
officials; people of integrity within our game. What we see today are the
fruits of that particular workshop,” added Masikhwa.
The SAFA head of
referees said recently the association held a Youth Development Course for referees
in Pretoria, and a SAB Skills Camp course for match officials.
He further stated that
at every such SAFA workshop, there is an integrity session where SAFA Integrity
Officer, Mlungisi Ncame, gives a talk on the need to maintain discipline and
“What Gomes and
company did are the results of what SAFA has been doing all along in order to
change the face of refereeing in South Africa and Africa in general - we are
very proud of our officials,” he said.
“We hope that this
will also be a lesson to other match officials who were not part of this Gomes
team; that if ever anybody approaches them in future, this is the way the go -
report the matter to authorities without delay.”