Top South Africa officials suspended
PRETORIA – The president of South Africa’s football association and four other leading officials have been suspended in the wake of a FIFA report into a match-fixing scandal, the country’s soccer authority said today.
Kirsten Nematandani and a quartet of SAFA administrators, including new chief executive officer Dennis Mumble, have been relieved of duty for their role in the fixing of four friendlies South Africa played ahead of the 2010 World Cup.
A FIFA investigation into the activity of convicted Singaporean match-fixer Wilson Perumal and his Football 4U organization highlighted the involvement of the five South African officials.
The results of matches against Thailand, Bulgaria, Colombia and Guatemala in the weeks leading up the 2010 World Cup were found to have been pre-arranged to benefit an Asian betting syndicate.
Car accident claims former footballer
HARARE – A car accident in Zimbabwe yesterday killed former professional footballer Adam Ndlovu and seriously injured his younger brother Peter.
The brothers, who both represented Zimbabwe at international level, were travelling to a friendly match when their BMW X5 struck a tree near Victoria Falls after a tyre burst.
Elder brother Adam, 42, spent seven seasons playing in Switzerland representing SC Kriens and SR Delemont before moving to FC Zurich.
The younger Ndlovu, 39-year-old Peter, had a lengthy career in England between 1991 and 2004 where he made over 400 appearances for Coventry City, Birmingham City and Sheffield United.
An update on his condition was given to the BBC by a close friend and former manager Winston Makamure, who said: “Peter is now out of danger. He is now conscious and is communicating.
“He has internal injuries, head injuries, broken ribs and a broken leg.”
Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai offered his condolences to the Ndlovu family.
Balotelli contesting fine
MANCHESTER – Mario Balotelli is taking Manchester City to a tribunal to contest a two-week fine of 340,000.
City punished the controversial striker for breaches of club discipline which included an incident last month when he was seen out partying less than 12 hours before a 1pm kick-off against Tottenham.
The Italian is unhappy with the fine though and will attend an independent two-man hearing in London on Wednesday to contest it.
If he loses, Balotelli will likely have to pay tens of thousands in costs in addition to his already hefty fine.
Rumours of an exit from the club are sure to increase after this incident although manager Roberto Mancini insisted the striker still had a future at the club despite dropping him from the team that beat Newcastle on Saturday.
“Yes. Why not? He needs to work and if he deserves to play because he worked well then he will do, but if not he will be in the stands or on the bench like all of the other players,” Mancini told the BBC after the game when asked if Balotelli was still in his plans.
“He needs to train and when he starts to play like his quality he will play again. We won the championship last year because all four of the strikers were scoring goals and we want that again.”
Mancini, who has had his bust-ups with Balotelli but has generally been a staunch defender of the player he signed in 2010, said after last weekend’s derby that his compatriot need to think more about what he was doing.
“He can’t continue to play like today, we wanted more from him,” he said then. “When you have a player with the quality that Mario has, you can’t understand that (he) continues to throw (it) out of the window.”†