Report bares South Africa match fixing before World Cup
JOHANNESBURG: Convicted Singapori match-fixer Wilson Raj Perumal rigged South Africa’s international friendlies ahead of the 2010 World Cup, the country’s football federation said on Saturday.
World football’s governing body FIFA found “compelling evidence” the pre-World Cup friendlies were fixed, said the South African Football Association (SAFA) in a statement.
Perumal’s football development front company Football 4U paid SAFA to arrange friendly matches before the country hosted the global sporting event, a FIFA investigation found.
“Perumal and Football 4U managed to infiltrate SAFA prior to the World Cup, with an offer to assist with referee development. The offer included providing FIFA-accredited Referees at their cost for the friendly matches prior to the FIFA 2010 World Cup,” SAFA said.
Bafana Bafana (The Boys) beat Guatamala with a national record 5-0, Colombia 2-1 and Thailand 4-0 in friendly matches and drew one-all against Bulgaria.
At the time questions were raised about the matches. The referees from Niger, Togo and Kenya conceded dubious penalties especially in the Colombia and Guatamala games.
South Africa had asked the world sporting body to investigate and received a summary of the report on Friday.
“The report identifies various SAFA officials who interacted with Football 4U, and recommends that ‘further examination’ of these officials should take place,” SAFA said.
After running a global match-fixing syndicate Perumal was convicted in Finland in 2011.
SAFA CEO Robin Petersen said the body would act on the information.
“After taking appropriate legal advice and following due process, we will take action against all who are found to have acted improperly or criminally in this matter.”