CAPE TOWN (Reuters) -- South Africa were duped into allowing an Asian match fixing syndicate to provide them with referees for a series of warm-up games before they hosted the 2010 World Cup, FIFA security chief Chris Eaton said on Monday.

It follows a four-day visit to the country by Eaton to look into newspaper allegations that the results of friendlies involving the host country ahead of the finals were fixed.

Eaton, in a statement released by the South African Football Association, said there was no evidence any of the South African players were part of the alleged deceit.

The revelations come as a further embarrassment to the embattled association, whose national team last year failed to qualify for the African Nations Cup finals because they did not understand the rules.

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