Safa lifts suspension of top brass

ABSOLVED: Dennis Mumble
ABSOLVED: Dennis Mumble

But promises it will deal decisively with any of its administrators of staff members found guilty of match-fixing.

SOUTH African Football Association top brass will deal decisively with any of its administrators of staff members found guilty of match-fixing.

Safa executive committee member Poobalan Govindasamy said there must be an investigation into match-fixing allegations involving Bafana Bafana games ahead of the 2010 World Cup.

Govindasamy was speaking to Sowetan after the Safa executive committee reversed a decision by the emergency committee to suspend president Kirsten Nematandani and four staff members.

"Any of the officials found to be corrupt and dishonest must be brought to book. We are serious that there must be an investigation," Govindasamy said.

Govindasamy implied that the decision of the Safa emergency committee to suspend the five senior officials had been wrong.

"The national executive committee has powers to manage the association," he said.

Safa chief executive Dennis Mumble, who also had his suspension lifted, said he would cooperate with any investigation into the matter.

Mumble, Nematandani, Lindile "Ace" Kika, Barney Kujane and Adeel Carelse were suspended after a Fifa report into match-fixing was presented to the Safa executive last month.

Their suspensions were lifted last Friday.

Mumble and Safa head of security Mlungisi Ncane had asked Fifa to investigate the seven suspicious friendlies played in South Africa in the weeks ahead of the 2010 World Cup.

He has also promised to help any further investigations.

"I will ensure that we provide all the operational support necessary to ensure that those who have done wrong are appropriately disciplined," Mumble said.

Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula said the government was fully behind the appointment of a judicial commission of inquiry to get to the bottom of the match-fixing scandal.

Mbalula also said the Safa top brass must make sure the 16-nation Afcon tournament was a resounding success.

"The most important thing is the hosting of the Afcon finals, that is where we must all channel our energies," he said.

"It is important that the tournament be a huge success. Safa must provide the leadership."

Nematandani also said Safa had decided to refer the match-fixing report in its entirety - including asking for additional information from Fifa where necessary - to the appropriate Safa standing committees for analysis, action and appropriate recommendations to the NEC at its next meeting.

"Anyone found to have transgressed will be fully prosecuted," Nematandani said.