Demonising Justin Gatlin
13th September 2015
The Adjudicatory Chamber of the independent FIFA Ethics Committee today banned Lindile Kika, a former official of the South African Football Association (SAFA) for six years. ‘The proceedings against Lindile Kika were opened in November 2014 in relation to several international friendly matches played in South Africa in 2010’, read a FIFA statement. ‘The decision was taken on the basis of art. 13 (General rules of conduct), art. 15 (Loyalty), art. 18 (Duty of disclosure, cooperation and reporting), art. 19 (Conflicts of interest) and art. 22 (Commission) of the FIFA Code of Ethics’.
The Adjudicatory Chamber did not expand on the reasons for the ban. However in March this year, South African Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula criticised FIFA for failing to deal swiftly with allegations that warm-up matches ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup were fixed. FIFA opened an inquiry after a 2012 investigation alleged that South Africa’s 2010 World Cup warm up games against Bulgaria, Thailand, Colombia and Guatemala had been fixed.
The South African World Cup warm-up games are believed to have been manipulated by referees working for a sports betting syndicate controlled by convicted match-fixer Wilson Raj Perumal and associate ‘Dan’ Tan Seet Eng. It is understood that Perumal’s agency, Football 4 U International, had been involved in the organisation of some of the games.
In an interview with Al Jazeera in a programme called ‘Killing the Ball’ broadcast on 19 February 2015, Perumal said that he had played a part in the qualification of five of the 32 teams that took part in the 2010 FIFA World Cup. He explained that Football 4 U International had been set up in 2009 to fix international friendly games for illegal bookmakers, and that he had fixed qualifying games for the 2010 World Cup.
In May 2010, South Africa beat Guatemala 5-0 after the referee awarded three penalties for handball. In South Africa’s 2-1 game against Columbia, also in May 2010, all three goals came from penalties.
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