South Africa Angry With FIFA Over Inquiry Into Match-Fixing
FIFA and South Africa Minister of Sport Fikile Mbalula "are on a collision course" following last week's announcement by FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke that football's world governing body "would be taking over the proposed investigation into allegations of match-fixing," according to Mohammed Allie of the BBC. The South African government "was to launch a judicial enquiry" into allegations that South Africa FA officials had cooperated with Football 4U, a betting syndicate run by Raj Perumal -- a Singporean who was convicted by Singaporean authorities of match-fixing in '95 and again in Finland in '11. FIFA said Ethics Committee Chair Michael Garcia "has decided to open a preliminary investigation on the alleged cases of match-manipulation in South Africa in view of the time elapsed" since South Africa had initially agreed to start its own probe. However, Mbalula told national broadcaster SABC, "Jerome Valcke and FIFA have no jurisdiction over South Africa. This is not a banana republic." Mbalula said that "he was awaiting comment from President Jacob Zuma before proceeding with the investigation." Mbalula: "The matter is with the president who will table a report in relation to the recommendations we have made and we will engage SAFA and everybody in relation to what we want to do" (BBC, 11/18).