Sedibe: I am the scapegoat

Bafana

Sedibe addressed the media at a personal press conference to address the five-year ban from football handed down to him from FIFA.

Although Sedibe has been banned on charges relating to Wilson Raj Perumal and the fixing of Bafana Bafana friendlies ahead of the 2010 World Cup, his main defence was to point the finger at SAFA.

READ: How SAFA bans unfolded

Sedibe’s major point during his address claimed SAFA lawyers instructed him to destroy all communication relating to match-fixing that he allegedly leaked to the media.

He read from a letter SAFA dated 2013 instructing him to keep certain information confidential. The letter demanded that he return all correspondence he exposed during an interview with a radio station, and to delete the letter they sent.

Responding to FIFA's ban, Sedibe made the following statement:

“I was not invited to any meetings or to comment in relation to issues raised in the report that has been released. I have not even received a copy of the report even though my name is mentioned in it.

“I have continuously called for an independent inquiry that would be impartial and to be be given an opportunity to respond to allegations.

“Last November I wrote a letter to the Public Protector to investigate allegations of match-fixing but that office declined and referred me to the SAPS.

“I have also been investigated by the NPA where they found that there has been no evidence of match-fixing. I approached Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega and was told the NPA had refused to prosecute based on insufficient evidence.

“This begs the question about why SAFA has not declared that police had already investigated the matter and found no evidence. SAFA must give the media a copy of the letter saying there was no evidence of match-fixing on my part.

“On the 3rd of November 2014 I was notified by FIFA that I would be subject to preliminary investigations and was implicated in match-fixing.

“I said I could not respond without the help of SAFA but they refused. I requested access to documents in order to respond, which never happened.

“I refused to cooperate with the FIFA probe until I had unfettered access to the documents I requested. I have also never been interviewed by FIFA, therefore the FIFA investigation remains incomplete.

“I have written several letters to SAFA since 2012 to prepare for FIFA’s inquiry. My request for access to laptop, emails, minutes was refused [by SAFA].

“I requested access to the server because the laptop could not be found. I asked for LOC minutes and decisions from Danny Jordaan. This was over the R10-million paid out around the World Cup.

“SAFA is withholding information that is critical for me to respond. I even used the Promotion of Access to Information Act to make SAFA allow access to the documents.

“I eventually contacted FIFA to answer the charges against me but they denied me the right to be represented by my lawyers. Neither FIFA nor SAFA has given me the documents I needed to respond.

“I refused to co-operate with FIFA because they haven't held a full investigation. They avoid the true culprits for fear of political reprisal.

“Those people are still sitting inside SAFA and the sad conclusion is that all evidence which will support me has been destroyed.

“Why did it take so long? Four years? Today FIFA make this announcement. They are refusing to give me access.

“There is a God in heaven. The art of justice takes time, but it always bends. If I spoke about $10-million I would have been a traitor.

“FIFA were never interested in the truth, they had to find a scapegoat. That scapegoat is Leslie Sedibe.”

Sedibe also said Perumal and his Football4U company that fixed friendly matches were in contact with suspended official Ace Kika, and not him.

“Ace Kika was chairman of the SAFA technical committee. He had been dealing with Perumal. I was not involved. I had to deal with match venues,” he said.

“The person who dealt with Perumal was Kika. You've all been told lies, that I met Perumal at SAFA House.”

Sedibe also said he was not surprised to see an investigation into SAFA’s 2008 payment of $10-million to Concacaf for the African Diaspora Legacy Programme.

“Allegations of $10m African Diaspora Fund came as no surprise to me. The truth will come out, watch this space!” he added.

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