South African authorities to make arrests in match-fixing case

Johannesburg: South African law enforcement agencies are expected to make arrests in connection with a football match-fixing scandal prior to the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

South African Football Association (SAFA) president Kirsten Nematandani and his four colleagues have already been suspended over the scandal, reports Xinhua.

A FIFA investigation has found that five South African sports officials were linked to the eight-million-rand ($940,000) match-fixing scam.

According to the local Sowetan newspaper, a special anti-crime team and international law enforcement agencies are sifting through documents recently seized in raids from several SAFA officials` offices and homes, and the offices of foreign football associations.

The arrests will "shake South African football to its core", said Paul Ramaloko, spokesman of Hawks, a special anti-crime force.

Ramaloko said the Hawks had been investigating the case since early this year, but a complaint of corruption was laid only this week and a criminal investigation was officially opened only Wednesday.

Match fixing was suspected in the South African national team Bafana Bafana`s friendly matches against Thailand, Colombia, Bulgaria and Guatemala in the weeks leading up to the World Cup.

Singaporean match-fixer Wilson Raj Perumal, who ran Football 4U, football development front company, has been found guilty of rigging South Africa`s international friendlies ahead of the 2010 World Cup. Perumal was convicted in Finland in 2011.

The results of matches were found to have been pre-arranged to benefit an Asian betting syndicate.

SAFA issued a statement last week, saying it had also found "compelling evidence" that the pre-World Cup friendlies were fixed.


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