SAFA president suspended over match-fixing

South African Football Association president Kirsten Nematandani and four other leading officials have been suspended in the wake of a report by football’s world governing body, Fifa, into a match-fixing scandal.

South African Football Association president Kirsten Nematandani and four other leading officials have been suspended in the wake of a report by football’s world governing body, Fifa, into a match-fixing scandal.

Nematandani, new Safa chief executive officer Dennis Mumble, and three others have been relieved of their duties while an investigation takes place in relation to their alleged part in the fixing of four friendlies that South Africa played ahead of the 2010 World Cup.

A Fifa investigation into the activity of convicted Singaporean match-fixer Wilson Perumal and his Football 4U organisation highlighted the involvement of the five South African officials, a media briefing was told on Monday.

The results of matches against Thailand, Bulgaria, Colombia and Guatemala in the weeks leading up the 2010 World Cup were found to have been pre-arranged to benefit an Asian betting syndicate.

A statement on the Safa website said the organisation has “accepted Fifa’s report as received” and added that “a Commission of Enquiry will be set up, under the leadership of a retired Judge, to fully investigate the matter and the members cited in the report”.

Safa vice-president Chief Mwelo Nonkonyana, who has been asked to act as president in the interim, said: “This is a difficult situation for the association, and for those who have been named in the report.

“We hope that there will be no speculation about their presumed guilt or otherwise. We need to allow the investigation to take place speedily and fairly, so those that are innocent can be separated from those who are not.”

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