Fifa match-fixing probe kicks off

2014-04-06 14:00

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A top official from the Fifa security department this week started an ­investigation into the Bafana Bafana match-fixing scandal.

Nicholas Raudenski this week quizzed a few SA Football ­Association (Safa) employees while he was in the country for the Fifa three-day workshop at the Sandton Convention Centre.

City Press has been reliably informed that Raudenski, who refused to discuss the latest developments with the media on Friday, will soon be back with a group of other investigators to carry out further interviews.

But they might hit a brick wall as some of the individuals mentioned in the damning report on the shenanigans in Bafana’s international friendly matches prior to the 2010 Fifa World Cup are no longer employed at Safa.

The report mentioned former Safa president Kirsten Nematandani; former Safa CEO Leslie Sedibe; current Safa CEO Dennis Mumble; members of the Safa referees’ department Lindile “Ace” Kika, Adeel Carelse and Steve Goddard; and current Bafana manager Barney Kujane.

Nematandani was voted out as Safa president last year while Sedibe has left. Carelse and Goddard are also no longer with Safa, with Mumble, Kujane and Kika still serving in Safa. They were not necessarily accused of any wrongdoing.

A defiant Carelse said he did not give “a damn” about the investigation. “I’m better off without football,” he said.

Nematandani said he had not been called up but would gladly attend the ­hearing in an effort to clear his name.

“I will be readily available if I am required to do so as it would be an opportunity to clear my name,” said Nematandani.

Safa president Danny Jordaan welcomed the latest developments, saying it was necessary for the investigation to be completed to remove the cloud hanging over Safa’s head, despite none of the current executives having been ­mentioned.

He said he hoped it would bring closure to the issue for the sake of the ­association’s credibility.

“We want closure so that we can move on,” said Jordaan. Mumble said he had not been summoned as yet. “But Nick was here as a ­member of the [Fifa] integrity committee. We expect them to come back soon so there is finality on the matter.”

Last month, President Jacob Zuma decided not to appoint a commission of inquiry to probe the allegations.

Fifa secretary-general Jérôme Valcke, who opened the workshop, was the first to open the lid on the matter on Wednesday when he said he was aware that the head of Fifa’s ethics committee, Michael Garcia, has been in touch with Safa.

“The South African government has left the matter in the hands of Fifa to deal with. It is the responsibility of Fifa to protect the game and we want to see closure in the matter,” said Valcke.

The Bafana pre-World Cup matches under investigation were:

.?A 4-0 win over Thailand on May 16 2010;

.?A 1-1 draw against Bulgaria on May 24 2010;

.?A 2-1 win over Colombia on May 27 2010;

.?A record 5-0 win over Guatemala on May 31 2010; and

.?A 1-0 win over Denmark on June 5 2010.

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