8 November 2017 – The South African Football Association (SAFA) has noted, with great concern, complaints that have been circulating on social media where coaches and players in the Provincial Women’s League made allegations of biased refereeing in one of the qualification matches.

SAFA has also received complaints from the aggrieved parties and has instituted a thorough investigation into the matter and will work speedily to get to the bottom of the issue in time for the National Championships.

This matter will be dealt with in accordance with the SAFA Statutes and Regulations without any favour or prejudice to any of the parties involved.

The intervention in this matter is part of SAFA’s National Integrity Program, which include, amongst other elements, the following:

  • We have intensified integrity training at workshops of referees and coaches;
  • We have intervened broadly in the ABC Motsepe League to prevent misconduct;
  • We have established strong relationships with the South African Police Services that has resulted in several ongoing police investigations and which has also resulted in the conviction and imprisonment of former match officials;
  • We have established a monitoring system that sees regular interventions in vulnerable matches in all leagues;
  • We have taken action against teams, clubs, match officials and staff members who violated the SAFA Ethics Code;
  • We have established a 24hr Independent Anti-Corruption Hotline (+27 80 077 7228) where anyone can call to report corrupt practices in football;
  • We have also established better coordination mechanisms with FIFA and its intelligence gathering systems.

We understand that the stakes are quite high in the qualification stages for the prestigious National Women’s Championships, but encourage all players and club officials to vent their frustrations through the SAFA platforms where the Association can act immediately upon receipt of these complaints.

Articulating their concerns through the media will not assist us in prosecuting those responsible for these violations and we caution against doing so.