Four clubs in South African fourth tier found guilty of match fixing and banned forever
Four clubs in South Africa’s fourth division have been banned FOREVER after being found guilty of match fixing when crucial games in the race for promotion ended 33-1 and 59-1… with 41 own goals!
- South African Fourth Division clubs conspire to fix crucial matches
- Matiyasi FC and Shivulani Dangerous Tigers fought for promotion
- Matiyasi tried to improve their game to prevent the Tigers from promoting
- When the Tigers found out this was the case, they also tried to fix their fixture
A bizarre wave of match fixing in South Africa’s fourth division has resulted in four clubs being banned from football in the country forever.
Matiyasi FC and Shivulani Dangerous Tigers battled it out at the top of the division, with the latter leading the league with three points and, crucially, with a goal difference advantage of 16.
An investigation by the South African football authorities found that Matiyasi had been able to improve their game along with Nsami Mighty Birds, as the Mighty Birds did not want Shivulani to win the competition.
Officials of the South African league investigated after the scores seemed obvious to be resolved
This led to Matiyasi beating the Mighty Birds 59-1, aided by a number of own goals and the referee reducing the losing side to seven players.
Meanwhile, when league leaders Shivulani learned that Matiyasi was leading 22-0 at halftime, they teamed up with the Kotoko Happy Boys to ensure they won their game convincingly.
This led to Kotoko players removing themselves from the field during halftime, begging that they were tired and unable to continue. They played the remainder of the game with seven men.
Vincent Ramphago, the president of the Mopani region, told BBC Sport Africa: “When the teams had met earlier in March, the deficits were considerably more sober, with Matiyasi beating Mighty Birds 2-1, while Dangerous Tigers drawing 2-2 with Happy. Boys.’
The officials imposed long suspensions on figures of the involved clubs and match officials
He added that they felt the umpires were also involved in the conspiracy, in which they failed to correctly register the goalscorers.
“We found the referee was just writing – ‘player number 2 scored 10 goals, player number 5 scored 20 goals’ and so on – but there were 41 own goals, so how did they record these?” he said.
Meanwhile, he added that those involved had no “respect” for the game and said it was especially sad given the number of young players involved.
“These people have no respect for football and we cannot allow it to happen again,” Ramphago added.
Vincent Ramphago accused those involved of disrespect for football through their actions
“It’s sad that young players are involved because the league rules state that each team must field a minimum of five players under 21.
“Our main goal in organizing competitions is to ensure that we educate the young footballers to be potential future Bafana Bafana players (the South African national team).”
Despite evidence to the contrary, Mighty Birds head coach Neil Thwala pleaded innocence, accusing his players’ match fixing of a referee in a previous match who allegedly sided with Shivulani.
The league official said they have recruited the lower divisions to try to build players into future stars of the national team
“In the last game we played, we were told that the referee is part of Shivulani Dangerous Tigers,” he said.
“We scored four goals, but they were all disallowed by the referee, but then they hit the side net and the referee said it was a goal. When we reported the matter, however, we were told that the referee’s decision is final.’
“The minds of the players were not on the game because even if they won, they knew it wouldn’t help them in any way. As a coach I tried to push them, but it was difficult – I couldn’t do anything,” he added.
Club officials have been given a five- to eight-season suspension, while match officials have been given a 10-season suspension.