Orlando Pirates' CAF Confederations Cup Final Opponents RS Berkane Embroiled in Bribery Scandal

Orlando Pirates' CAF Confederations Cup Final Opponents RS Berkane Embroiled in Bribery Scandal

Keba Mothoagae
updated at April 12, 2023 at 8:06 PM
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  • Controversy has engulfed the 2022 CAF Confederations Cup winners RS Berkane
  • The Moroccan side defeated the South Africans on penalties after the match ended 1-1 at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo, Nigeria
  • It has been reported that TP Mazembe, Berkane's semifinal opponents, are accusing a former employee of conspiring with their opponents to bribe a Mazembe goalkeeper

Champions of the 2022 CAF Confederations Cup RS Berkane has become embroiled in a bribery scandal.

The Moroccan team beat Orlando Pirates in the final 5-4 on penalties, following a 1-1 draw. The match was held at the Godswill Akpaio International Stadium in the Nigerian city of Uyo.

rs berkane, orlando pirates, alexandre coppolani, tp mazembe, fraud, corruption, caf, baggio siadi
Alexandre Coppolani, left, the TP Mazembe physical trainer, is being accused of having attempted to corrupt the DRC-based side's goalkeeper for the benefit of eventual Confed Cup winners RS Berkane.
Source: Twitter

The Citizen reported that Democratic Republic of the Congo club TP Mazembe, Berkane's opponents in the semifinals, have stepped forward with an accusation of bribery. According to Benin Web TV, Berkane allegedly conspired with former Mazembe physical trainer Alexandre Coppolani in attempting to bribe a Mazembe goalkeeper ahead of one the matches between the two teams.

Berkane overcame Mazembe 4-2 on aggregate, having lost 1-0 away in Lubumbashi, before winning 4-1 at home. The goalkeeper in question is allegedly Baggio Siadi.

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Benin Web TV's article stated:

“This is a case that is causing a stir within the sports community, both African and European. Eliminated from the CAF [Confederations] Cup after its heavy defeat against Renaissance Sportive de Berkane (4-1), TP Mazembe accuses the opposing camp of attempted corruption.
The Congolese who sacked their physical trainer, Frenchman Alexandre Coppolani, accuse the latter of having tried to corrupt their goalkeeper for the benefit of the Cherifian club.”

The article continued:

“But Alexandre Coppolani did not let it go and brought the case before international bodies and before the French courts. In his complaint to FIFA, the French technician explains, with supporting evidence, that his contract runs until 2024 and that his dismissal is abusive.”

It was also revealed that Coppolani had since also lodged a complaint against an unnamed general manager of Mazembe as well as Siadi.

With regards to how these revelations, could affect the result of the final, CAF's rules under the Fraud-Administrative error – match fixing, rule number four read:

"If the fraud has been committed during the final match by the club which has been awarded the trophy, the club shall be asked to return the trophy which will be awarded to the runners-up. The guilty team shall be suspended for three years from all CAF competitions.”

This likely means that the Buccaneers wouldn't be given the trophy as the allegations pertain to the semifinal matches.

CAF releases ranks of the top 10 teams in African club football, with a northern dominance and some surprises

The 10 best teams on the African continent have been named by football's governing body CAF.

As reported by Sports Brief, the list reflects teams which performed well at home in their leagues, and also those which had good campaigns on their travels in the CAF Champions League and Confederations Cup. Wydad Casablanca won the Champions League in a match against Mamelodi Sundowns, while RS Berkane had to get past Orlando Pirates for the Confederations at the end of May.

These results had an influence in how the list looks.

Keba Mothoagae photo
Keba Mothoagae
Editor- Local Desk
South AfricaWorld