south african news

Maritzburg Utd player suspended over penalty miss

February 15, 2010
By Soccernet staff

Maritzburg United defender Dikilu Bageta has been suspended by his club after he was accused of match-fixing following a missed penalty.

Bageta missed a penalty in his side's 1-0 defeat against Mpumalanga Black Aces at the Puma Rugby Stadium and United CEO Afzal Khan has confirmed the incident is being investigated.

"It is true that Dikulu has been suspended by the club pending the outcome of the investigation," he told Sunday World. "This is a touchy issue that needs to be carefully scrutinised and if the player is screwing us up, something drastic must be done.

"We spend a lot of money preparing for games and we cannot accept such matters to go unnoticed, hence we are working hard to get the truth behind these allegations."

Aces CEO Marc Grune, however, insists there is no substance to suggestions they paid off Bageta to secure victory.

"It is laughable that United claim that we bought one of their players to ensure that we won the match," he said. "If they are complaining, they should also investigate the referee and the player who caused the penalty.

"United are simply looking at things that are not there. Good luck in their investigation but for them to implicate us is totally wrong. This is one of the many plots to ensure that we get distracted in our quest to move away from the basement."

The player's agent, Bajo Bujani, has now claimed Bajela could be ready to take legal action over the incident.

"Even the best players in the world miss penalties and we don't know why, in this case, the player is being subjected to this kind of treatment," he said on Kick Off. "We won't let the matter rest but will seek legal action if that is what it takes to prove the player's innocence."