Nairobi News

Sports

KPL jolted by Fifa’s ban of four players for ‘match fixing’

World footballl governing body, Fifa, says that a number of matches contested in the Kenyan Premier League last season were manipulated.

Consequently, Fifa has handed four footballers with lengthy bans in relation to the vice.

Among the players who have been found guilty is one George Mandela, a Ugandan national, who has been handed a lifetime ban.

Moses Chikati, Festus Okiring and Festo Omukoto, all Kenyans, have similarly been banned from taking part in any kind of football-related activity at national and international level (administrative, sports or any other) for a period of four years.

All the four at the time played for Kakamega Homeboyz.

“The formal disciplinary proceedings against the aforementioned individuals stemmed from an investigation into various matches from the Kenyan Premier League in 2019,” a statement from Fifa’s Disciplinary Committee reads in part.

Homeboyz owner Cleophas Shimanyula, who was the whistle blower, appreciated Fifa’s action.

MANIPULATION OF MATCHES

“I pity the affected players. They were lied to by the coaches who are the main culprits but have somehow been set free. Match fixing is happening in our league and our federation doesn’t seem interested in investigating the vice. I have to thank Fifa for the efforts to have a clean game,” Shimanyula.

Shimanyula had also accused Ugandan coach Paul Nkata of being involved in match fixing.

Nairobi News has established that the said players received upto Sh150,000 to manipulate matches. The racket was commissioned by a Nairobi based man of Indian origin and most of the payments were done via mobile phones.

Fifa officials also found out that some of the players had been placing bets via their own mobile phones on matches they were competing in.

These announcements come barely a month after Wazito owner Ricardo Badoer claimed that he had been informed by persons not known to him that his players have been fixing Kenyan Premier League matches this season.

Harambee Stars 4-1 defeat at the hands of Eritea in a Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup semi-final in Kampala last December is another result that has been viewed with suspicion.