How German Match-Fixers Came To Play in SA


In 1971, the Bundesliga was rocked by a malicious, for-profit scandal that saw almost a third of league participants punished in some way. During the season, a number of games were deliberately “thrown,” sold to the highest bidder. In some cases, players were both paid to win and lose the very same game.

After the manipulations were revealed on an audio-tape released to the German Football Association, fifty-two players, two managers and six club officials were punished. Arminia Bielefeld and Kickers Offenbach also had their licenses to play in the Bundesliga revoked.

Among the players punished was Bernd Patzke, who received a two-year ban. Patzke, an international player for Germany at the time, eventually found his way to Hellenic F.C. in Cape Town. Then under Apartheid, South Africa was considered a pariah state by FIFA and soccer in the country was not under their organisational leadership. This allowed many of those penalised in Germany a way to continue their careers in the South African National Soccer League.

Kres Harrington takes us through that tale and more in the latest episode of the Bundesliga Connection.

Also on the show, he reviews the latest fixtures in the German League and looks ahead to the next matchday where heavyweights Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich will go head to head.

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