August 25 – FIFA’s ethics watchdog has opened formal proceedings against ex-South Africa football chief Kirsten Nematandani and two other officials over alleged ethics violations related to the fixing of international friendlies in 2010, just weeks before South Africa hosted the World Cup.
The adjudicatory chamber of FIFA’s Ethics Committee said it had opened cases against Nematanani, former Zimbabwe Football Association official Jonathan Musavengana and former Togo national team coach Bana Tchanile. Last week FIFA investigators recommended at least a six-year ban and SFr10,000 (R146,000) fine be handed down to Nematandani and life bans for Musavengana and Tchanile.
All three will now be invited to submit their positions and may request a hearing. Tchanile has already been banned from the sport for three years by his national federation after taking a team masquerading as the Togo national side to play a friendly with Bahrain in 2010.
The alleged offences relate to warm-up matches South Africa played against Thailand, Bulgaria, Colombia and Guatemala in May 2010 ahead of the World Cup. Convicted Singapore-based match-fixer Wilson Perumal’s company provided the match officials for the four games and flew in officials from Kenya, Niger and Togo after apparently being given the go-ahead by SAFA of which Nematandani was president at the time.
Nematandani, who served as SAFA president from 2009 to 2013, has denounced being implicated, insisting he had nothing to do with any of the alleged offences and should have been heard before any investigation was launched.
“I have built my reputation through hard work over many years. I was the chairperson of the referees committee for years. Why didn’t I fix matches then? Why would I fix friendly games?” he was quoted as saying earlier this week.
But Nematandani was suspended from his role at SAFA in December 2012 after FIFA stated it had found “compelling evidence” that he was involved in all four friendlies.
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