Ex-Referee spills the beans on KPL match fixing scam
Are Kenyan football supporters gathering in their thousands at stadiums, pubs and homes to watch “replays” instead of live matches in the Kenyan Premier League?
This is the begging question after a retired Kenyan referee shocked football lovers recently when he admitted that several football games in the country could have been fixed.
Isaac Ochieng’, a respected former whistle blower who cut his teeth while officiating in the Kenyan Premier League, confessed on a show aired on Pay TV Channel SuperSport – where he was a guest – that he had “severally” been approached by people with requests to alter the results of a football game.
Ochieng’ was however keen to clarify that he rebuffed all these advances, and did not elaborate from whom or where this offers came from.
The official’s sentiments have sparked a debate on this subject, with reports indicating that a number of matches in the Kenyan Premier League could have accepted the bribes.
“We normally fear the worst when any of our matches is not live on TV (SuperSport). Teams are openly favored in the Kenyan Premier League. Our protests all through have since fallen on deaf years,” a player who spoke on condition his identity won’t be revealed for fear of reprisal claimed.
Perhaps the most vocal claim besides that of Ochieng’ was made by Western Stima chairman Laban Jobita.
The official criticized female referee Damaris Kimani who was in charge of a league match involving his team and AFC Leopards.
“The match referee (Kimani) had a fixed mindset heading into this duel, which was that Stima must lose” a reeling Jobita claimed.
In a separate incident, the league body suspended referee James Kagera for “below par performances” after the official was accused of favouring teams.
KPL CEO Jack Oguda has also revealed in the past that his office has received widespread reports of alleged match fixing in the competition although the administrator added that “no concrete evidence” was found after investigations.
WERE THESE MATCHES FIXED?
Kenya vs Lesotho – August 2014
In August, the national football governing body in Kenya unveiled a seven-man committee to investigate whether the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations tie between Kenya and Lesotho was fixed or sabotaged.
The committee chaired by Prof Moni Wekesa and have James Siang’a, Bob Oyugi, John Ngururi, JJ Masiga, Glady Waweru and lawyer Fred Ashimosi as members.
Kenya lost the tie 1-0 on aggregate, a result that bundled the team out of the running to qualify for the Africa Nations Cup tournament in 2015.
“We have not sat to deliberate on this subject primarily owing to a lack of facilitation” Wekesa told Nairobi News.
Guinea vs Uganda –November 2014
The conspiracy theory among a cross-section of Ugandans who believe that the Guinea versus Uganda AFCON 2015 qualifier in Morocco in November 2014 might have been fixed has been taken seriously by the Ugandan FA (FUFA).
“Some people believe the results from the Guinea Vs Uganda match might have been influenced. We shall not leave anything to chance as the federation has engaged the police to make preliminary inquiries” FUFA boss, Moses Magogo said on Wednesday.
Uganda Cranes lost 0 – 2 to Guinea in Morocco to extinguish any chances of qualification to the AFCON 2015 finals in Equatorial Guinea.
In an era where there is rampant sports betting and the said fixture appeared on the fixtures available that day, there is talk, some money moguls might have influenced the outcome from the game.
“We shall let the Police do their job at the same time we call upon people with useful tips to help in the investigations” Magogo appealed. This result eliminated Uganda from the running to qualify for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations