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Noose starts to tighten on notorious officials and players as club leaders express anger on rising indiscipline

By Charles Thuku
Monday, March 15th, 2021
Western Stima chairman Laban Jobita gestures during a Fifa and CAF organised integrity workshop at a Nairobi hotel on Saturday. Jobita sacked some of his players and technical bench members in January over allegations of match-fixing. PD/RODGERS NDEGWA
In summary

The severity of match-fixing in the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Premier League matches is well outlined with a deliberate policy n place to end the professional misconduct.

During an integrity workshop FKF conducted at Utalii Hotel in conjunction with Fifa and CAF, local football chiefs said the event marked the beginning of a continuous process which is an indication of admission of liability that football in the country has been dragged into murk by wayward persons, especially players, in order to earn quick bucks.

Already there are strong indications that local league players have been incorporated in a well organised web of book makers most of whom are based in Asia and the business seem to be thriving as it is believed that a player earns between Sh400, 000 and Sh500,000 to fix a single match.

Already, a notorious technical bench official in a top local club is under investigations, owing to the fact that his lifestyle does not respond to his Sh100, 000 monthly salary.

The official who has initially been linked to match fixing claims, is believed to be the contact person to the bookmakers in the country and lives a lavish lifestyle, with his children enrolled to some high end expensive schools.

“Match fixing in Kenya is real and has to be stopped at all costs, or it will spoil the reputation of our players, referees and coaches seeking foreign oppenings,” said a source who sought anonymity.

He added: “The odds for the matches fixed are not even in the Kenyan betting firms, but in Asia. Take a look at the odds given to Posta Rangers against Gor Mahia on Wednesday last week, Posta were given odds of seven and they actually went ahead to beat Gor against the expectations of everyone.”

Most of the club chairmen interviewed after the Saturday session said they are surprised that manipulation of results had pervaded the game but were in unison that it happening because of the low and delayed wages and perks to players.

Tusker FC Chairman Daniel Aduda expressed concern with the emerging trend and observed that the training by the federation had been long overdue.

“This is exactly what the federation should have done a while back. Matchfixing is a global menace which cannot just be wished away. For the last few weeks, Western Stima raised the alarm over the same and it is a high time the federation involved all cadre of football management to air their views,” said Aduda.

His AFC Leopards Chairman Dan Shikanda said it is painful for a team to work so hard in training only to loss at the hands of match-fixers.

“Obviously, clubs spend a lot preparing for much and to lose in such a way is to the least unfortunate. FKF should be proactive in ensuring that match-fixing should be ended,’’ Shikanda said.

Mathare United chairman Bob Munro said in as much as players are lowly paid and carry along their phones during matches, the vice would be extremely hard to curb.

“Switching off mobile phones during matches should be a cardinal rule and further, players should be paid well to avoid getting into the temptation to manipulate matches,’’ said Munro.

Western Stima chairman Laban Jobita also called the federation to be steadfast in looking for channels to apprehend offenders.

The officials made the plea against the backdrop of Kenya being culpable of the offences to the extent of Fifa taking disciplinary measures on individual players but apparently, the latest case involving the match between KCB and Western Stima was the one which m a d e F K F swing into action.

Fifa first cracked the whip on former Mathare United and Harambee Stars defender George Owino banning him for 10 years besides fining him Sh 1.5 million for match fixing.

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