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Sedibe challenges Fifa investigators to conduct ‘lifestyle audit’

He says he believes he is now the ‘fall guy’ for the scandals surrounding Fifa and the 2010 World Cup.

Leslie Sedibe. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN
FIFA,Safa,Leslie Sedibe
Sport Local

JOHANNESBURG - Former South African Football Association (Safa) CEO Leslie Sedibe has challenged Fifa investigators to conduct a lifestyle audit to prove his innocence in allegations of his involvement in match fixing.

Sedibe has been slapped with a five-year ban by the world soccer body for alleged unethical behaviour relating to three international friendlies in the run-up to the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

Two other former Safa officials, Steve Goddard and Adeel Carelse, each received a two-year ban.

Sedibe read out a letter sent by Safa requesting that he delete and destroy confidential information related to alleged match fixing.

He says he believes he is now the “fall guy” for all the scandals surrounding Fifa and the 2010 World Cup.

“The truth about the $10 million will come out… watch the space.”

WATCH: Safa, Fifa… I will see you in court, says Sedibe

Sedibe says investigators were hostile towards him, insisting on dealing with him instead of his legal representatives.

“How then was I in a position to offer an explanation supported by documentation, when to the knowledge of both Fifa and Safa, the very same documents I required and which Fifa was insisting I provide, were being withheld by Safa.”

The Proudly SA CEO says he believes the investigation into his alleged involvement in match fixing are incomplete and says he will now take the matter up in court.

Sedibe has also questioned why Safa withheld information, which he claims would have helped him respond to allegations of match fixing.

He says on numerous occasions, he requested relevant documentation for Fifa which he claims Safa withheld.

The former Safa head says the Fifa probe is baseless and he’s never met with officials to give his side of the story.

“Fifa wrote to me to notify me that I will be contacted by the chief of investigations for the Fifa security department with a specific request for documents and information. This was after I had repeatedly requested the documents from Safa, which were vital to my response, and after I’d employed Fifa to assist in securing these documents.”

SAFA WELCOMES SANCTIONS IMPOSED OFFICIALS

At the same time, Safa has welcomed sanctions imposed on former football officials regarding the international friendly matches played by Bafana Bafana ahead of the World Cup.

The investigation, initiated on November 2014 against Safa officials, was conducted by Dr Cornel Borbely who is the chair of the investigatory chamber of the ethics committee, in collaboration with the Fifa security division.

In this case, former head of referees Lindile ‘Ace’ Kika was banned from all football-related activities for six years and Sedibe was found to have infringed rules related to disclosure, cooperation and reporting of the Fifa code of ethics.

Chairperson of the Safa ethics committee Poobalan Govindasamy said, “We are glad this matter has ultimately reached this stage since Safa reported the matter to Fifa almost four years ago. It had dragged on too long for our liking and was starting to have an impact on us as an Association and our valued stakeholders.”

Govindasamy added that, “At Safa we have a zero-tolerance policy for any corrupt activity which impacts negatively on this beautiful game and for that reason we welcome strong measures against any individual who is found guilty of such offenses. This should serve as a warning to anyone harbouring intentions of engaging in nefarious activities within the sport that the long arm of the law will catch up with them. Be warned.”

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)

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