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Safa agrees to independent match-fixing inquiry

06 March 2013
David Isaacson

SOUTH African soccer, in the red by almost R100-million, has agreed to face an independent commission of inquiry into its match-fixing scandal.

SA Football Association (Safa) bigwigs, including Kirsten Nematandani, Danny Jordaan and Irvin Khoza, met their SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) counterparts in Johannesburg yesterday to discuss the match-fixing saga as well as other issues facing the embattled federation. They agreed to a three-person commission to probe the allegations that Bafana’s warm-up matches before the 2010 World Cup had been fixed.

But before a commission is established, a three-man Safa committee will propose to Sascoc the terms of reference for the inquiry, and once Sascoc is happy, the umbrella body will approach the sports minister for approval.

The inquiry would operate in parallel to a Hawks investigation, Sascoc president Gideon Sam said.

“They [the Safa committee] will meet with me and give me the terms of reference they have drafted. We will then meet with the minister. I cannot give you absolute certainty when… The view among all of us is that we should proceed with this commission to see whether we can get to the bottom of the governance issues within Safa.”

Sam said they had also discussed Safa’s finances. “We looked at the financial reports of Safa and we saw the figures. The figure that really had us worried was the R92.5-million in the red and we thought: “How are you trading?”

“We were assured by Safa that they would engage with us. We want an update now and the agreement is that we will sit down with them and have a look at where we are now in terms of Safa’s financial position.

“As far as Safa is concerned they are not trading recklessly. They believe they are on top of issues.”

Sam said they had also spoken about complaints from six of Safa’s 52 regions.

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