Sedibe slams alleged FIFA-SAFA sabotage mission

Leslie Sedibe (Gallo Images)
Leslie Sedibe (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - Former SA Football Association (SAFA) chief executive Leslie Sedibe has accused the body of colluding with FIFA to withhold information he needed to respond to allegations of match fixing.

This week, Sedibe showed City Press a letter from FIFA dated March 2014.

In the letter, the international governing body acknowledged receiving extensive documentation from SAFA.

“As you are aware, we previously opened a preliminary investigation into this matter and subsequently requested relevant documentation. We are in the process of reviewing the documentation we received from SAFA,” reads part of the letter from FIFA investigator Michael Garcia.

Sedibe said he was sent from pillar to post when he asked to see the documents.

“All I want is an opportunity to clear my name after so many lies were told about me,” he said.

“Like any other citizen of this country, I am entitled to due process. This includes the right to be furnished with documents, call witnesses and cross-examine my accusers before an independent judge instead of the kangaroo court set up by FIFA.

"They violated my constitutional right to dignity and a fair trial.”

Last week, Sedibe won the first round in the ongoing battle against his former employers when the Johannesburg High Court ruled that SAFA had 10 days to give him the information he requested.

SAFA has until Wednesday to comply with the court order.

Sedibe said he needed the information to prove his innocence.

“Incidentally, FIFA acted with duplicity and violated its own rules by withholding the documents that I requested from SAFA.

“I now have proof that FIFA received the same documents I requested from SAFA, yet they concluded their investigation in Zurich without me,” he said.

“If they were genuine, why didn’t they come to South Africa to conduct a proper hearing?

“I smell toxic collusion between FIFA and SAFA regarding their handling of this matter. I will see them in court.

“They can run, hide and delay, but we will get them.”

Sedibe has also hired a top private investigator and IT specialist to recover all the information from the laptop he used at SAFA. The national soccer body refused to comment on the matter.

In 2016, FIFA slapped Sedibe with a five-year ban from all football-related activities.

This was after it emerged that the friendly matches played by Bafana Bafana before the 2010 World Cup were fixed by convicted Singaporean match-fixer Wilson Raj Perumal.

Sedibe went on to institute a $5 million (R64.7 million) defamation lawsuit.

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