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Written by Martin Graham | June 10, 2022
In some shocking and very strange news, four teams in the fourth tier of football in South Africa have been banned for life for match-fixing with staggering proportions.
Matiasi FC, Shivulani Danger Tigers, Kotoko Happy Boys and Nasami Mighty Birds were found guilty of manipulation that made them win and lose matches by ridiculous goal margins.
The four teams were vying for promotion to South Africa’s Third Division Football League. Tigers and Happy Boys played each other and Tigers won the match with a score of 33-1 while Matiyasi beat Mighty Birds 59-1. In the two matches, a total of 41 goals were scored.
After investigations into the mockery of the results of both matches, the four clubs were found guilty of match-fixing. The South African Football Association has moved to ban them entirely from playing football in the country for their actions rather than the points deduction, fine and suspension which are the usual punishment for match-fixing worldwide.
What was said
Vincent Ramvago, the head of the South African Football Association’s investigative team, spoke about the case BBC Sport Africa. He said: “Our investigation concluded that Matiasi and Nasami wanted to prevent Shivulani, who was leading at the time by three points and a goal difference of 16, from leading the league, so they agreed to set the match to prevent this from happening.”
After hearing that Matiyasi was leading 22-0 in the first half, Shivulani colluded to make the Kotoko Happy Boys remove the players from the field. The players who walked off the field said they were tired, leaving their team with only seven players. Meanwhile, in Matiasi’s match, the referee gave Players have red cards so that ends up with seven players.
“When the two teams met earlier in March, the results were considerably more sedate, with Mattiasi beating the Mighty Birds 2-1 while the Dangerous Tigers drew 2-2 with the Happy Boys. We found that the referee was just writing – “Player No. 2 scored 10 goals, player number 5 scored 20 goals and so on – but there were 41 special goals, so how were they scoring those goals?”
The match officials have been suspended for eight seasons
Ramvago also stated that the match officials have been suspended from the South African Football Association. “These people have no respect for football, and we cannot allow this to happen again,” Ramvago added. “The sad thing is that there are young players participating because the rules of the competition say that each team must play at least five players under the age of 21.
“Our main goal in organizing the leagues is to make sure that we prepare young footballers to become potential Bafana Bafana players in the future.”
Meanwhile, Mighty Birds manager Neil Thwala said he was helpless as the match went on. “In the previous match we played, we were told that the referee is part of the Shivulane Dangerous Tigers,” he said. “We scored four goals but the referee canceled all of them but then they hit the side net and the referee said it was a goal.
When we reported the matter, we were told that the referee’s decision is final.
“The players’ minds weren’t in the game because even if they won, they knew it wouldn’t help them in any way. I tried as a coach to push them but it was hard – there was nothing I could do.”