Parasites eating away at soul of beautiful game

This is an appeal to both the president of the South African Football Association, Molefi Oliphant, and one of his deputies Irvin Khoza, who heads the Premier Soccer League.

This is an appeal to both the president of the South African Football Association, Molefi Oliphant, and one of his deputies Irvin Khoza, who heads the Premier Soccer League.

Gentlemen, wake up to the fact your organisations are besieged by ultra-greedy, visionless and soulless people who are in football to line their pockets.

Granted, embarrassing incidents don't happen "every day" in football's corridors to worry that much, but they do happen, particularly towards the end of each season.

The question asked by some could actually be: who are these bad elements destined to taint the image of soccer?

Well, they include naughty Safa and PSL office workers, club officials, a penniless player and a spineless referee.

They also say for these people to achieve their deception they use some "neutral" operators because that is vital for their diabolic acts.

A few seasons ago a disgruntled Manning Rangers director shocked the courts by claiming that his club was involved in bribing referees yet the matter just ended there.

Curiously, football gurus turned a blind eye, if not shutting their ears to the "non issue".

We also got to know about a prominent Gauteng team that supposedly won consecutive league titles through fraudulent means.

We were later told that a sensitive report was somewhere between the National Soccer League (NSL) and Safa's offices.

Subsequent to that a gatvol Kaizer Motaung, the Kaizer Chiefs chairman, attacked Oliphant for not acting on the contents of the said report.

The media demanded answers and even asked the late minister of sport, Steve Tshwete to act on the matter.

But it was all in vain.

However, Safa and the PSL later got the police involved with their "Operation Dribble" investigations.

Sadly, though, the bad elements in the beautiful game intensified their efforts and continued with their dirty tricks. Promising cases yielded zero results due to a lack of cooperation from hostile witnesses.

Now, according to Moroka Swallows coach Ian Gorowa, some referees seem determined to make sure that Amakhosi end up in the top eight bracket.

Mind you, these days you can't dismiss such allegations as a case of "sour grapes".

A few seasons ago David Thidiela, chairman of Black Leopards, made almost the same allegations against Orlando Pirates.

Chiefs are of the view that some "human errors" by referees have resulted in them losing crucial matches.

Pirates, through coach Owen da Gama, have registered concern about yellow cards shown to their players every time they were fouled inside the opposition's penalty area.

By the way, Gorowa's gripes were sparked by Swallows being denied a penalty after their player was fouled in the Chiefs penalty area, among other things.

Anyway, the man will have to state why he said what he said.

Let me hasten to say the world over, referees make almost the same silly mistakes.

The difference out there though is that whenever corruption is reported, steps are taken and the culprits are promptly brought to book and dealt with if found guilty.

Clubs like Marseilles in France, Juventus and Inter Milan of Italy can attest to this.

Lately the spotlight is on Portugal's FC Porto.

In Mzansi eyes are on an alleged bribery case involving Mpumalanga Black Aces and FC AK.

The time is long overdue for us to look for outside help to remedy the situation.

Most European leagues have been around for more than a century and should therefore be well schooled in dealing with these type of shenanigans.

Oliphant and Khoza cannot allow a few kalkoene to rubbish our soccer with such total disdain.

We cannot also forget that clubs like Vaal Professionals were sent to the football scrap heaps mainly through cheating.

Hearts are still bleeding in Lekoa over that sad episode.