Kenyan referee denies match fixing at 2010 World Cup

Nairobi, Dec 19 (IANS) Kenyan referee Samuel Langat has refuted claims of match fixing in one of the matches he officiated in the 2010 World Cup involving hosts South Africa.

Langat officiated a warm-up match between South Africa and Colombia which the former won 2-1.

The Kenyan dismissed accusations that he was in touch with convicted Singaporean fixer Wilson Perumal Raj, reports Xinhua.

"That game was not fixed and we officiated the match well since FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke was watching. I don't know why these things are being said now," Langat, a former FIFA referee, said Tuesday.

He added that no one from FIFA had contacted him about the game, among four matches under investigation.

The scandal led South Africa Football Association (SAFA) president Kirsten Nemantandani and four other officials to go on leave from Monday.

"The World Cup was two years ago and as far as I'm concerned we did nothing wrong," the Kenyan added.

Langat was the referee in the match that also marked the official opening of Soccer City, the venue that hosted the 2010 World Cup final.

Three penalties decided the game that ended in favour of South Africa with Teko Modise and striker Katlego Mphela scoring for the hosts while Giovanni Moreno converted his kick Colombia.

Compatriot Elias Kuloba, who officiated alongside him as his assistant, declined to comment. "It is only the federation that can speak on the issue since I work under them."

The third Kenyan official, David Sagero, also refused to discuss the matter.

South Africa's record 5-0 battering of Guatemala, 4-0 beating of Thailand and their 1-1 stalemate against Bulgaria in May 2010 are the other matches alleged to have been fixed with Perumal "organising" the referees for the contentious games.

The Singaporean is said to have been running an Asian betting ring through his firm Football4U.

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