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An independent judicial inquiry backed by football’s world governing body FIFA is to investigate a match-fixing scandal involving the South African national team in the build up to the 2010 World Cup.

In an affair that has cast a dark cloud over South African football, FIFA found the results of pre-World Cup warm-up matches against Thailand, Bulgaria, Colombia and Guatemala in the weeks leading up the 2010 finals had been fixed.

Allegations of the rigged games were first revealed in July 2011 by the country’s press but the South African football association failed to act immediately.

It was only when FIFA included the country in a wider investigation into Wilson Raj Perumal, a Singaporean jailed for two years for masterminding a match-fixing scheme in Finland, that the issue was raised again.

“This long-standing open case is harming South African football,” said FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke in a FIFA statement published following a meeting with South Africa Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula.

“It is vital that this matter which dates back to 2010 is concluded soon, with the culprits to be sanctioned in accordance with the zero tolerance policy.”

Copyright © 2014 euronews

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