Ex-Kenya coach wants players in Al Jazeera’s match fixing documentary named and shamed
Former Harambee Stars coach Twahhir Muhhidin has called for thorough investigations by the authorities into the latest allegations suggesting a high stakes match involving Kenya and Nigeria in Nairobi on November 14, 2009 was fixed.
These allegations surfaced on Thursday afternoon, on a 26 minute documentary titled ‘Killing the ball’ that was aired on Al Jazeera news network.
“If those allegations are true, it means (the Biblical) Judas (Iscariot) has finally betrayed these players. They should carry their own cross, having cost us tens of millions of shillings and betrayed their country of birth,” Muhiddin who handled the national team at the time said.
“Investigations need to be carried out and these players named and shamed,” added the Bandari coach.
According to the documentary, an Asian based football broker Wilson Raj Perumal approached three Kenyan players (two of whom started the game, and a third who would be on the bench) with instructions to ensure everything was done to guarantee Nigeria victory in the match, a result that would enable the West African country qualify for the 2010 Fifa World Cup in South Africa.”
Perumal arrived in Nairobi three days to this match alongside three of his associates including Manimaran Kalimuthu who according to the report used to carry loads of money to facilitate payments.
The foursome booked in and stayed at the Safari Park Hotel, which is located less than a kilometre from the match venue and hostels, where the national team was residing and said match was played.
Kalimuthu claims his boss Perumal met with the said players before and after the match. The agreement according to the report, suggests the Kenyan players were to be paid Sh 7 million (on current exchange rates) to ensure Kenyan lost the match. Harambee Stars lost the game 3-2.
The startling line-up on the day (a squad which Perumal claims to have compromised two players) consisted Willis Ochieng’ (who has separately been mentioned in other match fixing claims), Musa Otieno (now Harambee Stars assistant coach), Edgar Ochieng’, George Owino, Julius Owino, John Njoroge, Victor Mugabe (Wanyama), Peter Opiyo, Dennis Oliech, Patrick Oboya and Emmanuel Ake.
The Kenyan bench (which had another compromised player according to Perumal) consisted Wilson Oburu, Pascal Ochieng’, Joackins Atudo, Hillary Echesa, Patrick Osiako, John Barasa and Allan Wanga.
“I had two or three players… in the Kenyan team and that I had contacted to ensure Nigeria wins on the day,” Perumaj says in the documentary.
One of the Kenyan players – according to the documentary – responded through an email confirming his willingness to do business with the match fixer.
“Listen my friend, we r serious n ready 4 the biz. We promise u we wont let u down,” the anonymous player is reported to have said in response Perumaj’s email.
The report adds that both the Kenyan federation (which recently hinted a separate match involving the Harambee Stars might have been fixed) and Fifa have both been reluctant to comment even after being contacted by Al Jazeera to shed light on the subject.
Muhhidin, who took over the management of team just days to the match in question following the abrupt resignation of German Antoine Hey, insists he selected the team on his own, but after considering advice from a “Council of Elders” – comprising Jacob “Ghost” Mulee, James Siang’a and Mohammed Kheri – which had been instituted by the then federation.
Besides Kenya, Perumal also confesses to having a hand in the outcome of matches in Mozambique, Lesotho, Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe.
His company is also said to have influenced the outcome of high profile matches at the Women World Cup in China (2007), Olympic Games in Beijing (2008), Africa Cup of Nations in Ghana (2008), AFC Cup in Asia (2008) Gold Cup in USA and “several” 2010 Fifa World Cup.