South African referee Gomes rejected bribe attempt to fix CAF match

Referee Victor Gomes was approached to fix the result of the African Confederation Cup first leg tie between Nigerian side Plateau United and USM Alger of Algeria but rebuffed those advances and has reported the matter to the Confederation of African Football (CAF). Times Live has been able to verify the incident from two independent sources‚ though which‚ if any‚ of the clubs is involved remains a closely guarded secret while the matter is under investigation by CAF. Gomes was in Lagos along with his assistants Johannes Moshidi and Athenkosi Ndongeni‚ and regular Premier Soccer League referee Thando Ndzandzeka‚ who acted as the fourth official. They were approached before the game on Saturday with an offer of US$30‚000 (R362‚822) to fix the result‚ but immediately turned down the approach and reported the matter to CAF. It is unclear at this stage who were the parties involved in trying to initiate the fix‚ one of the clubs or betting syndicates‚ details that will likely come out when CAF release their findings into the incident. Plateau United won the game 2-1‚ but now face a difficult away trip in the second leg on April 17‚ which will be officiated by Maguette N'Diaye from Senegal. The attempted manipulation of referees is a long-standing problem on the African continent and just recently South Africa fell foul of this. Ghana referee Joseph Lamptey was found guilty of match-fixing in South Africa’s 2-1 FIFA World Cup qualifier victory over Senegal in November 2016. He did this on behalf of betting syndicates and when the match was forced to be replayed by FIFA‚ South Africa lost 2-0. One of South Africa’s top former referees‚ Jerome Damon‚ has also previously spoken of finding “a bag of cash” in his hotel room on one away assignment in an attempted bribe that he flatly refused. (Source: Times Live)
“Top SAFA referee Victor Gomes was approached to fix the result of the first leg clash that took place this past weekend (Saturday, 7 April 2018) in Nigeria, but instead reported the matter to the Confederation of African Football (CAF), who are investigating the issue,” confirmed SAFA. “Our referees have conducted themselves impeccably well in the sense that they were able to identify and report the issue immediately to CAF for them to make further investigations on the matter. Because it was a CAF appointment, they wrote a report and sent it to them, and they (CAF) are dealing with it”, said Tenda Masikhwa, SAFA’s Head of Referees. “The honesty displayed by Gomes and company is partly because of the integrity workshops being conducted by SAFA throughout the country. Part of the integrity workshops is early detection of corrupt activities and reporting them to authorities without delay”, added SAFA. “Our officials showed the rest of the continent and the world that they won’t tolerate corruption within the game. We are proud of what they did and this is why South African referees are so much sought after and are highly regarded on the continent”, said Masikhwa. “On 13-14 February this year, we held an Integrity Workshop in Sandton, Johannesburg where two FIFA representatives articulated the need to have honest and upright match officials; people of integrity within our game. What we see today are the fruits of that particular workshop”, added Masikhwa. (Source: SoccerLaduma)