Nairobi News

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Wigan’s relegation linked to single multi-million dollar bet

Amid an announcement by the Kenyan government that betting “almost destroyed the country”, English club Wigan Athletic has announced it will investigate reports that the team’s recent woes off the pitch have a direct link to gambling.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i said on Friday the government would not relent on the betting laws which have been described as stringent by a group of stakeholders.

“We are not going back on that policy because we want sanity in Kenya. Betting almost destroyed our country. Criminals and money launderers thrived. Some came from as far as Eastern Europe and did what the would not attempt in their countries,” explained Matiang’i.

Meanwhile, Wigan suffered relegation to the third-tier of English football after the club went in administration last week.

It was later revealed that someone has earlier placed a big bet on the club being relegated.

The reports gained more credibility after English Football League (EFL) chairman Rick Parry was secretly filmed telling a Wigan supporter there was a rumour Wigan’s financial woes, which led to the relegation, was connected to a ‘bet in the Philippines on them being relegated’.

The situation gets more interesting when you consider Wigan were sold from a Hong Kong-based company to another four weeks ago. The club’s current owner is a high-stakes poker player.