Fri Oct 20 21:47:09 CAT 2017

Fifa ends SA leg of probe

2012-03-04 11:53:37.0 | KGOMOTSO SETHUSHA |

A FIFA delegation has concluded the South African leg of investigations into the match-fixing scandal ahead of their trip to neighbouring countries as part of a global probe into the scourge.

TARGETS: Bafana Bafana coach Pitso Mosimane and his assistant Jairo Leal were allegedly targeted by match-fixers in 2010. Picture by Sydney Seshibedi
WELCOME RETURN: Dennis Mumble rejoins Safa. Picture by Antonio Muchave

Led by Fifa security committee head Chris Eaton, the delegation will now move to Botswana and Zimbabwe to complete the Southern Africa leg of investigations into the scandal, which in recent weeks has threatened to taint the image of South African football.

A list of officials, including the Bafana Bafana technical team, were interviewed in the past three days as the Fifa committee probed allegations of match fixing.

Bafana coaches Pitso Mosimane and Julio Leal, former team manager Sipho Nkumane, Safa head of referees Adeel Carelse, former Safa referees chief Steve Godard and Safa COO Dennis Mumble are some of the officials interviewed - except former Bafana coach Carlos Alberto Parreira, who didn't make the trip but made written submissions instead.

Their inquiry centred on the refereeing and the outcome of international friendly matches that Bafana played in May 2010 against Thailand, Bulgaria, Colombia and Guatemala - as part of their 2010 Fifa World Cup preparation, which were alleged to have been targeted by match fixers, sports marketing group Football4U.

Football4U was controlled by Wilson Perumal of Singapore, who is currently serving time at a Finnish prison for fixing matches in that country.

A senior Safa official said Bafana Bafana's friendly matches ahead of the World Cup were probably targeted by Football4U.

But it is not clear whether Safa knew about the motives, as the football association appears to have been more like one of the many victims of the Asian online betting syndicate.

Fifa estimates that fixers make between $5bn and $15bn each year from manipulating matches across all sports.

Eaton, who joined Fifa ahead of the 2010 World Cup, will, however, be leaving the world football governing body to join the Qatar-based International Centre for Sport Security as its director of sport integrity in May.

Eaton, a former detective from Australia, had brought a new rigour to Fifa investigations since he joined it from Interpol.

He has also helped Fifa and Interpol link up in a $26.3m anti-corruption project in Singapore to educate soccer officials over the next 10 years.

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