Sedibe: signing proves nothing

Leslie Sedibe
Leslie Sedibe

Though banned former Safa CEO Leslie Sedibe has vowed to fight his implication in the Bafana Bafana match-fixing scandal in court, City Press is in possession of the 2010 refereeing agreements that bear his signature.

In April and May 2010, notorious Singapore-based match-fixing syndicate Football4U International signed a deal with Safa to supply referees for all of South Africa’s friendlies ahead of the 2010 global football showpiece.

Football4U International was established by serial match-fixer Wilson Raj Perumal, who has served time for fixing matches.

City Press is in possession of three documents that were signed by three different representatives of Football4U.

The first agreement on April 29 2010 does not have a signature from Safa, but the subsequent two documents, dated May 11 and 22, bear Sedibe’s signature.

When asked about the documents, Sedibe retorted: “Does it say anywhere that matches should be fixed?

“I will meet them in court, where the truth will come out,” he said without delving further into the issue.

The contents of all the agreements are similar, except for the dates and matches to be officiated at.

In the deal, Safa agreed to use the services of match officials provided by the match-fixing syndicate for all the matches leading up to the 2010 World Cup.

“The second party [Football4U] agrees to provide the services of Fifa-qualified referees and assistant referees from [the Confederation of African Football] for all the matches mentioned for the price of $30 000 (R220 000 at the time),” reads the agreement.

According to the documents, Football4U was going to be responsible for the airfares, accommodation and match fees of the officials, while Safa had only to provide adequate security for their protection.

In exchange, the agreement stated that Football4U would use the services of Safa match officials, with effect from July 2010, for international matches and foreign league matches.

Fifa has since established that the matches concerned were fixed.

Perumal has been accused in several other match-fixing scandals. He was previously accused of fielding a bogus team masquerading as Togo’s national side in a rigged match against Bahrain in 2010 and bribing Zimbabwean players to throw matches against Thailand, Malaysia and Syria in 2009.

He was first jailed for match-fixing in 1995 in Singapore.

In 2011, Perumal was arrested in Finland and later sentenced to two years in prison but was extradited to Hungary in late 2012.

Last month, the Fifa ethics committee banned Sedibe for five years from all football-related activities.

Sedibe was found to have infringed the rules related to disclosure, cooperation and reporting of the Fifa code of ethics. He was fined 20 000 Swiss francs (R306 000).

Former head of referees Lindile “Ace” Kika was banned for six years, while two former employees, Adeel Carelse and Steve Goddard, were both found guilty and each received a ban of two years.

But there is still a big question mark around who signed the initial agreement with Football4U in 2010.

Safa chief executive Dennis Mumble refused to comment and referred the matter to Fifa.

He said the minister of sports and recreation, Fikile Mbalula, said he would travel to Fifa headquarters to obtain more clarity on the match-fixing scandal.

“We have provided Fifa with everything. Safa is still waiting to hear the final decision from Fifa.

“All we are doing is to facilitate a meeting between the minister and the Fifa people,” Mumble told City Press on Friday.

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