- Four South African football clubs in Matiyasi FC, Shivulani Dangerous Tigers, Kotoko Happy Boys, and Nsami Mighty Birds received lifelong bans due to match-fixing.
- The investigation was brought on after teams gave up outrageous scores such as 33-1 and 59-1.
- Referees were also banned for up to 10 seasons for their part in the scandal.
SOUTH AFRICA – South Africa’s fourth-tier football clubs were involved in a major match-fixing scandal leading to four clubs being banned for life.
Matiyasi FC, Shivulani Dangerous Tigers, Kotoko Happy Boys, and Nsami Mighty Birds all received lifelong bans alongside several referees being banned for up to 10 seasons.
Lifelong Bans For Match Fixing
The situation began during the Matiyasi and Mighty Birds. Matiyasi FC and Shivulani Dangerous Tigers are major rivals and the Tigers held a 16-goal lead over Matiyasi and would end up promoted out of the SAFA Mopani Zebras Steam A.
In order to takeout the rival, the Mighty Birds essentially threw the game in extreme fashion. At one point, Matiyasi held a 22-0 lead.
The Tigers and the Happy Boys attempted to outdo the scheme of Might Bird and Matiyasi by fixing their own match. The Tigers finished their match with a 33-1 victory over the Happy Boys after most players sat out the remainder of the game due to “fatigue”.
Matiyasi went on to win its matchup 59-1 over Nsami with the Mighty Birds scoring 41 goals on their own side.
Those betting on soccer know that these scores are absolutely unfathomable so it is no surprise that an investigation was brought forth following the matches.
“Our investigation found that Matiyasi and Nsami wanted to stop Shivulani from topping the log so they agreed on fixing the match to prevent this from happening,” said Vincent Ramphago, president of the Mopani region. “After hearing that Matiyasi were leading 22-0 at half-time, Shivulani colluded to remove Kotoko Happy Boys players from the field. The players who came off said they were tired leaving their team with only seven players. In the Matiyasi game meanwhile, the referee gave players red cards so that Nsami ended up with seven players.”
The result led to all four clubs being permanently banned and removed from the league. In addition, referees from all the games were banned for eight seasons with lead officiators banned for 10.
The match-fixing issue is something that has plagued sporting leagues for years and was a major deterrent for legal sports betting due to the potential risk of players throwing games for personal gain.
The harsh sentencing from league officials is a message to all players that this will not be tolerated.
“These people don’t have respect for football, and we cannot allow it to happen again,” said Ramphago.
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