Former Safa boss Nematandani banned over match-fixing

Former South African Football Association (Safa) president Kirsten Nematandani was banned for five years by Fifa’s ethics committee on Thursday in connection with a match-fixing scandal involving Bafana Bafana in 2010.

The global soccer body’s ethics watchdog also handed life bans to former Zimbabwe Football Association official Jonathan Musavengana and former Togo national team coach Banna Tchanile for alleged bribery and corruption violations connected to the same case.

Nematandani, Safa head from 2009 until 2013, had violated articles on general conduct, loyalty and disclosure, Fifa said.

Musavengana and Tchanile breached rules on bribery and corruption and Fifa said that it would publish the terms of their decisions on its website as they had “failed to provide fax numbers”.

Tchanile had already been banned from soccer for three years by his country’s federation after taking a team masquerading as the Togo national side to play a friendly with Bahrain in 2010.

None of the three could be reached for comment.

Investigations concentrated on warm-up matches South Africa played against Thailand, Bulgaria, Colombia and Guatemala in May 2010 ahead of the World Cup which the country hosted.

Match-fixing is often organised by betting syndicates who make money by correctly gambling on the result of the game they have manipulated.

In 2012, Chris Eaten, then Fifa’s head of security, said convicted Singapore-based match-fixer Wilson Perumal’s company had provided the match officials for the four games.

South Africa usually invites match officials from neighbouring countries to handle home friendlies but agreed to Perumal’s offer to fly in officials from Kenya, Niger and Togo for the four matches.

The South Africa team were handed two disputed penalties in a 2-1 victory over Colombia in Johannesburg.

One of the spot kicks was ordered to be retaken twice after the initial efforts were saved. Colombia’s goal also came from a penalty. Four days later South Africa were awarded another two spot kicks in a 5-0 win over Guatemala in Polokwane. – Reuters

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