South Africa's Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula, SAFA President Kirsten Nematandani and FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke reached a concrete conclusion in their meeting held today at the Home of FIFA in Zurich, a new milestone in the fight against match manipulation.
An independent judicial commission of enquiry will be set-up by the South African government. The mandate of this juidicial investigation will be limited to matters related to the case of irregularities related to friendly matches of SAFA in the build-up to the 2010 FIFA World Cup™.
FIFA has also proposed that the judicial body of the FIFA Ethics Committee, represented by its independent Chairman Michael J. Garcia, should be part of this special commission. This proposal is backed by SAFA as well as the Minister of Sports but is subject to constitutional approval by the government.
"This long-standing open case is harming South African football. It is vital that this matter which dates back to 2010 is concluded soon, with the culprits to be sanctioned in accordance with the zero tolerance policy. At the same time it is critical that structures are set-up in order to tackle similar cases should they happen in the future," explained Jérôme Valcke.
"I am very pleased by the commitment of the South African government and also SAFA to make sure this matter is now dealt with as a highest priority. FIFA will provide any advice and support possible both at investigatory and disciplinary level. To this effect a representative from FIFA's Security Division was also at today's meeting. "
"We are happy that the meeting took place and it was very fruitful. I will present today's proposed solution to the SAFA Executive Committee tomorrow for approval,", said the SAFA President.
"The rise of match manipulation globally has become one of the most pressing issues facing football today. I understand fully that FIFA needs strong action from associations like SAFA to tackle this problem. Therefore it is vitally important that national authorities such as ourselves play a full role. I firmly believe today's meeting is a major step in bringing to a close an episode that has damaged South African football. We have made a pledge to FIFA today that we will support them and SAFA to bring this to an end," concluded Fikile Mbalula.