Joseph Odartei Lamptey

In The News Sport

Latest match-fixing scandal could endanger SA’s World Cup hopes

CAPE TOWN, March 21 (ANA) – FIFA’s confirmation of match-fixing in South Africa’s World Cup qualifying match against Senegal last year could have far-reaching consequences for Bafana Bafana’s ambitions of playing at the next World Cup in Russia.

Soccer’s world governing body FIFA said Bafana Bafana’s World Cup qualifying win over Senegal last year was fixed.

In banning Ghanaian referee Joseph Lamptey for life, FIFA said 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 the second goal in controversial circumstances from a quickly taken free-kick soon after in a qualifying match for the 2018 finals in Russia.

On Monday FIFA said in a statement: “Further information concerning the South Africa v Senegal match in question will be provided once the decision becomes final and binding.”

This latest shock news again brings up the 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.

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

Although South Africa’s Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula rejected the bribery allegation a year ago, the scandals have tarnished the legacy of the World Cup. – African News Agency (ANA)

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