Demonising Justin Gatlin
13th September 2015
Just two months after the South African Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula criticised FIFA for failing to swiftly deal with allegations that warm-up matches ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup were fixed, new allegations of match-fixing in South Africa have surfaced. Local newspapers in South Africa have reported that the Premier Soccer League (PSL), the top tier of professional football in South Africa, has received a complaint from one of the league’s clubs accusing another PSL club of match-fixing.
The reports state that the match-fixing allegations were discussed at the PSL Executive Committee (EXCO) meeting held on Tuesday 12 May. PSL Chief Executive Brand de Villiers told local news outlets that the allegations were discussed at the meeting and that the Executive Committee was now following standard procedures by handing it over to the prosecutors, who as an independent body will decide whether to open a case.
The PSL drew to a close last weekend resulting in AmaZulu’s automatic relegation from PSL’s Absa Premiership to the National First Division (NFD). Unconfirmed reports from local news sources have suggested that the team bringing the allegations was Moroka Swallows, who ended second from bottom ahead of AmaZulu in the PSL and will now battle it out to avoid relegation in a series of play-off matches with two teams from the NFL. The reports suggest that players, coaches and officials have been implicated in the match-fixing allegations.
South Africa’s Sports Minister met with FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke last month where they agreed on the establishment of an independent judicial commission of enquiry by the South African government, to investigate allegations of match-fixing in a number of South Africa’s friendly matches in the build-up to the 2010 FIFA World Cup. In April 2013, FIFA opened an inquiry after a 2012 investigation found that South Africa’s 2010 World Cup warm-up games against Bulgaria, Thailand, Colombia and Guatemala had been fixed. However in March Mbalula criticised FIFA’s failure to follow up this investigation and deliver a speedy resolution.
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