Azziz Kara banned, FC AK relegated

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FC AK had qualified for the end-of-season promotion play-offs to the Absa Premiership, where they were due to face Maritzburg United, but it seems likely now that Dynamos, who finished second in the First Division Inland Stream, will take their place.

Kara was, however, found guilty by a PSL DC of attempting to bribe Mpumalunga Black Aces goalkeeper Michael Babale

Both Kara and the club were also sentenced to pay a R500 000 fine, as well as costs of the PSL DC hearings.

A full PSL statement on Wednesday said:

“The Disciplinary Committee of the League delivered its verdict with regard to sentencing in the matter involving Mpumalanga Black Aces (“Aces”) as the complainant and Mr Aziz Kara and FC AK as the first and second Respondents (“The Respondents”) respectively, where in both respondents have been found guilty on charges of bribery and corruption.

“Having considered all the arguments submitted on sanction, I find that corruption and bribery are serious offences.

“Having taken cognizance of the seriousness of the offences; that the respondents are first offenders and jointly employ over 250 people; that the PSL is accountable to, inter alia, the public, sponsors and its members for the manner in which its members conduct themselves; that a message needs to be sent to all members of the NSL / PSL; that a member’s duty to comply with DC orders and PSL / FIFA Rules in disclosing his / its activities is not limited to what he / it deems necessary, but should rather comprise a total disclosure in terms of the PSL Rules and FDC, particularly when match fixing, corruption and bribery allegations are involved; that corruption and bribery strikes at the heart of the FIFA’s slogan of “fair play”; that a monetary fine only would not be appropriate because a member or official of a member, more so its President, founder or owner, should not be warned and reminded to act ethically; and that the PSL and FIFA Rules provide for banning and relegation in cases involving corruption and bribery; then DC, by a majority of two to one, is of the opinion that in the circumstances the following sanction will be fair and appropriate:

“The first and second respondent are ordered to pay the followings costs jointly and severally:

  • The six (6) DC sittings of the 07th; 14th; 15th; 16th; 24th and 30th April 2008. The last two dates being the deliberation by the DC on the merits and sanction submissions by the parties;
  • It is further ordered that the corruption payment to Mr. Michel Babale be forfeited to the League in order to cover the above costs; and
  • The complainant’s legal fees and disbursements in respect of these proceedings, excluding the costs of the complainant’s High Court Application, to be taxed by the Registrar of the Witwatersrand Local Division of the High Court.

“The respondents are both jointly and severally fined R10 000.00 for contravening Rule 54.15 of the NSL Rules, read with Article 118 (3) of the FIFA Disciplinary Code.

“The first respondent is banned from taking part in any football – related activity for a period of thirty (30) years. It is recommended that SAFA should request FIFA to ensure that this sanction is given a worldwide effect;

“The second respondent demoted is demoted to a lower division than the one is / was currently campaigning during the period of the misconduct.

“Both respondents are further jointly and severally fined R500 000.00

“It is further ordered that the complaint fee paid by the complainant in terms of Rule 48.1.1 of the NSL Rules as amended (16 July 2007) be refunded to the complainant.

“The parties are advised of their rights in terms of Rule 48.10 of the NSL Rules.

“PSL CEO, Kjetil Siem responded by saying that the league was happy with the decision.

“On behalf of the league I am glad this type of action is taken very seriously by the DC. Of all possible negative actions in our industry this is bottom line. At the same time we cannot conclude the matter yet as both club and person have the right to go to arbitration or the SAFA appeal route.”

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