Boland cleared of match-fixing

The Boland Rugby Union has been cleared of all allegations of match-fixing following an investigation conducted by Saru.

Saru set up the inquiry following a complaint by referee Josef Baadjies, who alleged that Ivan Pekeur, the former Boland referee manager (and current Boland Rugby Union president), had attempted to influence referees to fix the outcome of five matches in the Boland club leagues.

Saru appointed attorney Kevin Kiewitz to investigate the claims and a total of 13 potential witnesses including referees, referee committee members and Boland staff were questioned.

The findings were presented to Saru CEO Jurie Roux in a 114-page report.

The report concluded: 'It is evident from my evaluation of the evidence in respect of the identified matches collected from referees and individuals, that there is no real substantiation for the allegations. It is therefore my finding that in respect of the matches identified match-fixing cannot be proved.'

While Roux was pleased with the findings, he warned of a darker side of the game and one that remains a threat.

'Allegations of match-fixing are extremely serious and we have conducted a very thorough investigation in this case – the first such claim I am aware of in South African rugby,' he said.

'No proof could be found to support the allegations made by Mr Baadjies, but that does not mean that we are indifferent to the threat. If anyone has proof of attempts to fix the results of matches they should contact their local provincial rugby union, immediately.'

Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix