Danny declares war on graft

2013-11-03 14:00

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‘Criminals making more money from football’

SA Football Association (Safa) president Danny Jordaan has declared war on match-fixing and corruption.

According to him, criminals were making more money out of the sport than the federations, and this was “unacceptable”.

He said: “Let’s get our football back from these people,” added that Fifa was investigating 69 countries for match-fixing.

He warned referees not to accept bribes and told officials to desist from paying match officials, as this was one of the biggest threats to football integrity.

He warned there would be dire consequences for those who transgressed the law.

The Safa president told delegates from the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations and the Council for East and Central Africa Football Associations who attended the Integrity in Sport symposium in Vereeniging this week that bribery, manipulation of the sport and match-fixing were the biggest threats to the game.

Jordaan wants referees to become more responsible and accountable.

“We need to train our referees and empower them.

“And we must pay them well because if we don’t, they will be paid by someone else, because there are people who have the money to pay our referees.

“For their part, referees must resist taking bribes. It is against the ethics of the sport.

“On the other hand, clubs must desist from paying officials to throw games,” said Jordaan.

He urged the member countries to tackle match-fixing and racism head-on.

Safa has been embroiled in a match-fixing scandal involving Bafana Bafana’s pre-World Cup matches, something that Jordaan is seeking closure on.

The matter is being handled by government.

“From Safa’s point of view, we would like the allegations of match-fixing within our game to be concluded as soon as possible as it is having a negative impact on the sport.

“After all, they say justice delayed is justice denied and any investigation must have a swift conclusion.”

He said Fifa secretary-general Jérôme Valcke would be in the country in the next two weeks to attend a meeting of the 2010 Fifa World Cup Legacy Trust and possibly seal the match-fixing scandal.

Jordaan said the threat to football integrity was a global challenge, not only in Africa but globally, and needed a collective approach.

He said there should be consistency in investigations globally.

“We should win this war. We need a clean sport because the future of football has never been so threatened.

“This is our industry and we should not allow crooks to have the last laugh.

“This industry (football) is under threat. We must learn to speak out and do away with the culture of silence.

“By so doing, we will create corporate confidence.

“At times we see clear signals but we are doing nothing to pre-empt the looming disaster.”

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