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FIFA Bans Three South African Officials Over Match Ethics Issue

Three South African Football Association officials have been banned from the sport in connection with international friendlies played by the country's national team in 2010, FIFA announced Monday.

Leslie Sedibe, a former chief executive of the South African Football Association, was banned for five years and fined 20,000 Swiss francs (£14,000) by FIFA’s ethics committee.

Steve Goddard and Adeel Carelse, both former heads of the SAFA’s refereeing department, were each banned for two years.

The cases were linked to that of the former SAFA executive member and head of referees Lindile Kika, who was banned for six years by FIFA last October.

FIFA said that Sedibe, Goddard and Carelse had all infringed ethics rules concerning general rules of conduct, loyalty and disclosure, cooperation and reporting.

The investigations were conducted by FIFA’s ethics committee along with the security division, which is responsible for fighting match-fixing.

A previous FIFA investigation had looked into warm-up matches that South Africa played against Thailand, Bulgaria, Colombia and Guatemala in May 2010 ahead of the World Cup, which South Africa was hosting.

Meanwhile the South African Football Association according to the South Africa Broadcasting Company (SABC) have welcomed the sanctions imposed on former South African football officials.

Chairman of SAFA'S Ethics Committee Poobie Govindasamy says it's a relief that the matter has been finalised.

“The decision by the FIFA Ethics Committee is most welcomed by SAFA. As you know, this matter has been dragging on for many years. When this came to light in 2012, we reported the matter to FIFA immediately so that there would be an independent investigation in regard to the issues.”

The case has been investigated for more than a year.

It has already resulted in a six-year ban being imposed by the FIFA Ethics Committee on Ace Kika, who at the time of the matches was SAFA's Head of National Teams.  

None of the four is involved in soccer in an official capacity any more.

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