Wed Jan 18 09:56:00 SAST 2017

Hawks to swoop on soccer brass

By Graeme Hosken, Mazola Molefeand Ramatsiyi Moholoa | 2012-12-20 07:15:49.0 | COMMENTS [ 24 ]

Match-fixing crisis deepens

THE Hawks are poised to arrest several prominent soccer officials in connection with the alleged R8-million match-fixing scam involving Bafana Bafana games.

The arrests will "shake South African football to its core", according to Hawks spokesman Paul Ramaloko.

A special Hawks team and international law enforcement agencies are sifting through documents recently seized in raids on several Safa officials' offices and homes, and the offices of foreign football associations.

Ramaloko said the Hawks had been investigating the case since early this year, but a complaint of corruption was laid only this week and a criminal investigation was officially opened only yesterday.

The investigation is linked to the suspensions on Sunday of five senior officials of the South African Football Association, including its president Kirsten Nematandani.

Others suspended were the acting chief executive Dennis Mumble, national teams manager Lindile "Ace" Kika, referees boss Adeel Carelse and Bafana team manager Barney Kujane. Safa insisted that the five were not implicated in the Fifa report, nor were any Bafana players.

The five were suspended after Safa received a report from soccer's world governing body Fifa on four matches Bafana played as warm-ups ahead of the 2010 World Cup. Suspicions around the matches against Colombia, Guatemala, Thailand and Bulgaria surfaced in June last year.

It has since been established that a convicted match-fixer, Wilson Raj Perumal, who had arranged the matches for Safa, had used a crime syndicate called Football4U to fix the results of these matches with the help of corrupt referees provided by Perumal. Perumal, a Singaporean citizen who was jailed in Finland last year, was the front man for an Asian betting syndicate.

Ramaloko said allegations were that R8-million was paid to senior Safa officials to ensure that Bafana won their four warm-up matches in 2010.

"During several meetings between this match fixer and Safa officials a sum of R8-million was offered to the officials," said Ramaloko. "The match fixer is alleged to have offered to supply certain referees to oversee the matches to ensure that Bafana Bafana won."

He would not name the Safa officials, but said "they hold extremely senior positions within the association".

He said the Hawks were working with Interpol as well as senior members of several foreign football associations. "Although the investigation still has a way to go arrests are going to be made," he said.

Mumble denied on Facebook that he had been suspended and said the "amateur interlopers at Safa have now managed to turn this whole thing on its head".

"No matter how hard we try to fix this association, we just can't get it right," Mumble wrote. "I reported the incident to Fifa and I am the one who asked for this investigation! I'm not in the office because I have to prepare for this commission as a key witness."

Kika was not available for comment, while Carelse referred Sowetan to Safa. Kujane has promised to cooperate.

Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula said: "I'm shocked and dismayed by this development. If found guilty they must meet the full wrath of the law. This is a disgrace."


Login OR Join up TO COMMENT

Take Bobby Motaung as well.

2012-12-20 07:20:55.0 | 0 replies

I've always thought there is something dodgy about Mumble, and I never thought Nemathandane deserves that chair he was sitting on, and I still think the transformation gang is the worst group to ever take charge of anything in our country, hope Nonkonyane follows suit!

2012-12-20 09:40:55.0 | 0 replies

This matter needs to be dealt with as a matter of urgency because people's images are at risk of being unless otherwise. If the Hawks have collected incriminating evidence against the accussed, why don't they make arrests and let the law take its due course than making public statements about eminent arrests? I smell a BIG FAT RAT here

2012-12-20 09:42:32.0 | 0 replies

Those two young patriotic boys charged with that Zambian bus mistaking it for matchfixers!The charges need to be dropped with immediate effect now!

2012-12-20 09:44:22.0 | 0 replies

I smell Bobby Motaung la....

2012-12-20 10:31:11.0 | 0 replies

I don't understand this. How can someone pay you 8million to win your games, which means bafana bafana were giving away all the games that they have lost delibarately. This is bulls***t.

2012-12-20 10:43:08.0 | 0 replies

I don't understand this. How can someone pay you 8million to win your games, which means bafana bafana were giving away all the games that they have lost delibarately. This is bulls***t.

No he paid them so he can supply his own referees to BB matches, cause BB many ppl(more money) banked on them to lose as their form suggested.

2012-12-20 11:44:25.0 | 0 replies

I don't understand this. How can someone pay you 8million to win your games, which means bafana bafana were giving away all the games that they have lost delibarately. This is bulls***t.

No they were paid to win, ( allow the gang to supply own referees) co-operate in winning, since most people would have bet that the other countires will win based on form and history,.....

2012-12-20 12:08:27.0 | 0 replies

MR Editor what the FuuuucK is this YELLOW thing popping on your Sowetan page?

Sure we had enough with this YELLOW thing,its been a long time now,further more we do't know what is the meaning of it nxa.Sowetan remove this with immediate effect

They say its a competition icon, you click on it, fill a form & you will be entered in a weekly draw of +/-R2500

They have no chance, interpol will be involved, this will reveal many of them

2012-12-20 12:21:55.0 | 0 replies

1stly Afternoon people.... and a warm Congratulations to the Mighty Bucaneers... 2Words: We Rock !!!

@ SAFA, and the Rest.... don't know what 2 make of this sagga...get me some popcorns & ices...
izawuphuma nodlolazana, thats the thing 4 sure.

2012-12-20 13:26:19.0 | 0 replies

These SUFFER clowns must SUFFER the consequences of their actions

2012-12-20 14:02:34.0 | 0 replies