Fifa bans former South Africa FA president

Former South Africa FA president Kirsten Nematandani

The president of the South African FA at the time of the 2010 World Cup has been banned by Fifa for five years in connection with a match-fixing scandal involving the country's national team.

A previous Fifa investigation found 'compelling evidence' that four South Africa friendlies prior to the World Cup on home soil had been fixed.

Fifa found Kirsten Nematandani, who headed up the South African FA (Safa) from 2009-2013, guilty of failing to report suspected corruption and for being uncooperative during the investigation.

He was one of three Africans to be sanctioned on Thursday, along with former Zimbabwe FA official Jonathan Musavengana and ex-Togo coach Bana Tchanile.

Both men received life bans for bribery and corruption relating to the international friendlies in South Africa.

Musavengana had previously been accused of being involved in a scheme where Zimbabwe national team players were paid to lose on a tour of Asia in 2009 - an accusation he denied.

Tchanile, meanwhile, had already been banned from football for three years by his country's federation after taking a team masquerading as the Togo national side to play a friendly with Bahrain in 2010.

One of the South Africa friendlies came just 11 days before the start of the 2010 World Cup, which was taking place in Africa for the first time.

On 31 May in Polokwane, Bafana Bafana thrashed Guatemala 5-0 in a game in which there were three controversial penalties by the Nigerien referee.

South Africa celebrate one of their goals in the 5-0 win over Guatemala
South Africa celebrate one of their goals in the 5-0 win over Guatemala

Fifa believes that matches against Thailand, Bulgaria and Colombia, which also took place in May 2010, were fixed.

Chris Eaton, Fifa's then head of security, said convicted match-fixer Wilson Raj Perumal had supplied the match officials for the four games.

At the World Cup the following month, South Africa became the first host nation to fail to qualify from their group.

In October 2015, Fifa suspended another former Safa official - Lindile Kika - from football for six years.

The governing body said this was in relation to 'several international friendly mathces played in South Africa in 2010' - an allegation Kika denied.

Along with Nematandani, Kika was one of five senior Safa officials put on 'special leave' in 2012 following Fifa's investigation into match-fixing.

All were reinstated in January 2013 but not exonerated from any wrongdoing.

A meeting of Safa's executive committee at the time decided the emergency committee went beyond their mandate in suspending the officials.

In August, Fifa's investigatory chamber of its Ethics Committee recommended to the panel's adjudicatory chamber that Nematandani be banned for six years.

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