Soccer: South Africa hit by new crisis after match-fixing revelations

Mon Mar 20, 2017 6:12pm EDT
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By Mark Gleeson

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - South African soccer was embroiled in another scandal on Monday when FIFA said the national team's World Cup qualifying win over Senegal last year was fixed, leaving the legacy of the country's hosting of the 2010 finals in more turmoil.

In banning Ghanaian referee Joseph Lamptey for life, world soccer's governing body said the outcome of South Africa's 2-1 home win in African Group D in November had been contrived.

The official was found guilty of unlawfully influencing the match result after handing South Africa a soft penalty for handball just before halftime and allowing a second goal in controversial circumstances from a quickly taken free-kick soon after in a qualifying match for the 2018 finals in Russia.

Who had influenced Lamptey to help South Africa win the match was not addressed in FIFA's statement on Monday.

However, the world ruling body did say: "Further information concerning the South Africa v. Senegal match in question will be provided once the decision becomes final and binding".

FIFA officials, who did not want to be named, told Reuters match-fixing was uncovered following irregular betting activity.

South Africa's Football Association (SAFA) did not respond on Monday to questions about the match-fixing allegations.

The revelation follows allegations that South Africa paid a $10 million bribe to help secure the rights to the 2010 World Cup and that officials were duped by an Asian betting syndicate over the results of warm-up matches before the finals.   Continued...