Fifa match-fixing investigators arrive in SA

South African Football Association (Safa) president Kirsten Nematandani welcomed a delegation from international football’s governing body Fifa on Thursday for their Southern Africa leg of a global investigation into match-fixing.

The Fifa delegation is led by Chris Eaton and the fieldwork phase is expected to take four days, during which they will engage with a number of key individuals.

In addition, Fifa will have access to Safa’s records relevant to the inquiry which is centred around the refereeing and outcome of four friendly games Bafana Bafana played in 2010, in the final build up to the World Cup.

After consideration, Safa intervened and appointed their own officials, to replace the international referees recruited and supplied by a sports marketing group called Footbal4U, for the team’s fifth and final friendly against Denmark.

“We are doing all we can to help Fifa resolve the issue regarding the Bafana games and to do all in our power to wipe out corrupt practices in football in South Africa, if there is any,” says Nematandani.

Anyone who has not already been contacted but believes they have material evidence to offer is invited to urgently contact the office of Safa CEO Robin Petersen.

The names of the individuals meeting with Fifa were not made available to the media, and the sessions will be held in-camera in order to protect the integrity of the process.

“We have complete confidence in the integrity and thoroughness of the Fifa process and will assist in whatever way we can to get to the truth,” Petersen said.

“We would also like to emphasise that Safa is not, at this stage, undertaking a parallel process either internally or through an independent body ... We trust that all parties will respect the Fifa process and allow it to reach its logical conclusion.”—Sapa

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