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SAFA gives go-ahead to match-fixing investigation

Saturday - 4/6/2013, 4:37pm  ET

WITH STORY SOUTH AFRICA MATCH FIXING - File- Spectators attend a friendly soccer match between South Africa and Guatemala at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane, South Africa in this file photo dated Monday May 31, 2010. The South African government announced Friday April 5, 2013, that it will set up an investigation into allegations of match-fixing in the run up to the 2010 World Cup after recent meetings with FIFA and its own national football association, to look into possible corruption in games involving the South African national team.(AP Photo)

JOHANNESBURG (AP) -- The South African Football Association agreed on Saturday to allow the government to begin investigating suspected match-fixing in the run-up to the 2010 World Cup, but said it wanted a top FIFA prosecutor to join in.

SAFA said its executive committee "unanimously endorsed and approved" an agreement already reached by world body FIFA, South Africa's government and SAFA's president at a meeting at FIFA headquarters in Zurich on Friday.

The decision by SAFA's executive committee gave the formal go-ahead for the government to take the lead in investigating allegations of match-fixing in the national team's warmup games in the weeks before the country hosted the World Cup. There are suspicions that some of SAFA's own officials may have been involved in corruption.

While allowing the government to take over, SAFA recommended that the chairman of the investigating arm of FIFA's ethics committee, Michael Garcia, be part of a three-member commission. SAFA also wants the investigation to take no longer than three months and the final report to be sent to the president of South Africa, Jacob Zuma.

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