South Africa’s renowned television pundit, Mark Williams, has admitted that he hopes there is no match fixing going on in football, after witnessing some questionable decisions made by the referees.
The match officials in the Absa Premiership have come under fire in recent weeks due to their poor decision making, sparking talk about the state of refereeing in the country.
The first notable game was when Kaizer Chiefs were eliminated from the Nedbank Cup at the hands of Black Leopards – a match which saw an offside goal handed to Leopards and a legit penalty appeal not given to Chiefs, with Stuart Baxter ejected from the sidelines.
Then, Sundowns fell victim to a questionable decision against then which saw Bongani Zungu’s goal disallowed for a foul on Jackson Mabokgwane.
The very next day, Itumeleng Khune was also involved in a controversial incident, which saw him sent off for time wasting.
In a continuation of his interview with Fan Park, Williams gave his thoughts on the decline of officiating in South Africa, before touching on potential match fixing.
“For me, I have looked at it… There is a lot of speculation where you can ask: ‘What is happening? Why is this ref making these decisions?’
“Look, there is a lot of pressure on them. I didn’t think Khune deserved a red card, but what he said to the referee we don’t know.
“Khune did react, it was a yellow card, but what he said after we don’t know. Chiefs have goalkeepers so there is no danger there for them [in their coming games].”
Williams added, “Obviously, we are hoping that there is no match fixing. You are going to find that people want certain teams to stay in the league and certain teams to go down, and whoever gives them more money will get the end result.
“That has been happening all over the world, so what is going to make us not do that? We just heard about 2010 - only four years later we hear about match fixing.
“I am not surprised… I have played in leagues where they do these things. It will be sad for the game as we always talk about fair play.”
Do you think these decisions were human error or something bigger? Tune into Fan Park tomorrow at 9am to find out why Chiefs aren’t extending their players’ contracts.