South African Football Association (Safa) president Kirsten Nematandani speaks exclusively to Goal.com SA about the alleged match fixing scandal before the 2010 World Cup
Reinstated South African Football Association president Kirsten Nematandani has assured the nation that the alleged match fixing allegations will not effect the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.
“Honestly, this is not an issue that I would like to talk about. But, as I have stated before, we are clean until proven guilty. I think there was a setup from other people who were trying to destroy the image of the organization and the country as a whole,” said Nematandani.
After Saturday's 0-0 draw against Algeria, Bafana coach Gordon Igesund was concerned about the effect of the match fixing scandal. Igesund told the media that referees are now scared of making bold decisions for Bafana, and labelled the 2010 allegations as 'nonsense'.
“Look, you must understand that we are speaking about something that happened years ago, as much as it is coming up now, but it has nothing to do with the Afcon. I don’t think there were proper steps taken when dealing with this, because clearly it shows that there is some miscommunication coming in.
“I don’t see it affecting the tournament. The people should sit back and enjoy the beautiful game being hosted in this country,” Nematandani said.
Nematandani confirmed that the Bafana players had nothing to do with the allegations either.
“The players have nothing to do with this. The only people who are facing these allegations are the administrators and we will ensure that the truth comes out and we clear our name in the nation. Players should continue with their game and make the country proud,” said Nematandani.
The Safa president was then happier to talk about football on the pitch and Bafana's chances.
“I believe that we have the best coach in the country, and good players. As much as I am not a person who believes in predictions, I do believe that Bafana will do well because of those two factors. Another factor that will help the boys to outclass the rest of the nations will be the fans and also their determination,” he said.