Cape Town, June 9: A man has been arrested and faces corruption charges after he was caught in a sting operation trying to bribe match officials to fix a lucrative promotion playoff football game in South Africa.
Police said the 41-year-old man was arrested in Cape Town on Wednesday in an operation by the country's organized crime unit.
He had offered to bribe the officials at a hotel the day before and was arrested in the sting as he tried to pay the money, Western Cape police said. The man was caught following a tip-off to police from one of the officials.
“As the transaction took place ... the detectives appeared and arrested the suspect. A large amount of cash was seized,” police said in a statement.
The man was due to appear in court later Thursday.
Police said he had tried to influence a match in favor of a team vying for promotion to South Africa's top Premier Soccer League in end-of-season playoff matches. A police spokesman declined to say which team.
Four clubs are involved in the promotion-relegation playoffs, where a team will earn an estimated 12 million rand ($1.78 million) if they win promotion to South Africa's top league.
It's another blow to football's corruption-battered image, with match-fixing investigations also under way in Italy, Finland, Greece and South Korea.
World body FIFA is also investigating a friendly international between Nigeria and Argentina as part of a wider probe into suspicious betting patterns and possible match-fixing. AP