JOHANNESBURG, April 12 – The SA Football Association (Safa) has lauded the action of South African match officials who refused to be bribed ahead of a recent CAF Confederation Cup tie between Plateau United of Nigeria and Algeria’s USM Alger.
South African referee Victor Gomes was approached to fix the result of the first-leg clash that took place last Saturday in Nigeria but instead reported the matter to the Confederation of African Football (CAF), who are investigating the issue.
“Our referees have conducted themselves impeccably well in the sense that they were able to identify and report the issue immediately to CAF for further investigations.
“Because it was a CAF appointment, they wrote a report and sent it to them, and they (CAF) are dealing with it,” said Tenda Masikhwa, Safa’s Head of Referees.
Gomes was in Lagos where he was assisted by Johannes Moshidi and Athenkosi Ndongeni, together with Thando Ndzandzeka, who was the fourth official.
Gomes said they were offered US$30 000 (R362 556) in cash but turned it down and immediately reported it.
Masikhwa said the honesty displayed by Gomes and company was partly because of the integrity workshops being conducted by Safa throughout the country.
“Part of the integrity workshops is early detection of corrupt activities and reporting them to authorities without delay.
“Our officials showed the rest of the continent and the world that they won’t tolerate corruption within the game. We are proud of what they did and this is why South African referees are so much sought-after and are highly regarded on the continent,” said Masikhwa.
“In February this year, we held an Integrity Workshop in Sandton, Johannesburg where two Fifa representatives articulated the need to have honest and upright match officials; people of integrity within our game. What we see today are the fruits of that particular workshop,” added Masikhwa.
“We hope that this will also be a lesson to other match officials – report the matter to authorities without delay.”