Corruption a thorny issue

Matome Lebea

Matome Lebea

Corruption by referees triggered discussions during Safa's Vodacom Promotional League's pre-season meetings in Limpopo yesterday in Polokwane.

The issue of match-fixing and referees' corrupt activities came to the fore while representatives were putting forwards questions during the overview of the 2007-2008 season.

"We cannot allow a situation wherein the provincial winners are decided at the beginning of the season by the referees and club owners who think they have more money.

"The problem needs to be solved once and for all," Mighty "Lone Maffi" Tjale, owner of Mighty FC, told Sowetan yesterday.

He said: "Our teams are exposed at the national playoffs because we do not send deserving and strong teams, instead the teams that are promoted by the referees represent us poorly."

The same sentiments were shared by FC Tebcon's spokesman Thandi Ratau who said the referees' problems must be solved by Safa, not the teams.

"We want to put our focus on preparing our teams to get promoted rather than dwelling on the referees who are spoiling this sport of millions," Ratau, said.

Safa maintained that the problem will be solved.

Said Balebetse Monnakgotla, Safa's acting competitions director: "We encouraged clubs together with Safa's PEC [provincial executive committees] to build relationships with the provincial government with a view of getting financial assistance towards the teams, like it is the case in the North West and KwaZulu-Natal."