No match-fixing charges against former Kenyan goalkeeper – FIFA
The world football governing body Fifa has confirmed that it did not open any legal proceedings against former Kenyan International Willis Ochieng over match-fixing allegations in Finland where he turned out for top-tier side IFK Mariehamn.
Convicted match-fixer Wilson Raj Perumal, in his book, titled “Kelong Kings” alleged that he had bribed Willis to fix two matches involving his club IFK Mariehamn in 2010.
In the book, Perumal also alleges that another former Kenyan International, George Owino, who was banned for 10 years by Fifa in 2010 for allegedly fixing matches, introduced him to Willis.
“As the football season was drawing to a close, I was contacted by a Kenyan footballer that I knew called George who gave me the telephone contact of another Kenyan player called Willis. Willis was one of Kenya’s national team’s goalkeeper and happened to play in Finland for a first division club called IFK Mariehamn,” Perumal writes in his book.
“Willis had started in the Kenya vs Nigeria match I had fixed in order to get Nigeria into the World Cup. I rang him up…”
“Hello bro,” I said, “I got your number from a common friend, George. What’s going on? How are you?
“You want to do some business?” I asked him straightforwardly.
“What kind of business?” He enquired.
“Football, are you prepared to throw a game?”
“IFK Mariehamn will not renew my contract. I have got two or three matches left to play and then I am going back home. I only want money. What do you want me to do?”
“Lose, of course.”
“No problem. How much are you going to pay me?”
“I’ll pay you about 20-25 thousand euro per match.”
“You mean for one game?”
“Sure, each game is 25 thousand.”
“How many goals do you need?”
“Just give me two goals, OK?”
“OK. No problem, come see me and we’ll work things out.”
He goes on: “Willis and I agreed to meet in Mariehamn Island, where his club was based, and speak face to face. On my way to the Viking ferry, the boat that connects Turku, a town in mainland Finland, to Mariehamn Island, I met a Chinese runner working for Dan named Chee Wee who was carrying money for me. I didn’t want to lose my passport while onboard the ferry, so I put it in my computer bag and left it with Chee Wee. I then boarded the ferry, hopped off on Mariehamn Island, and made my way to Willis’ home, where we sat down and discussed business.”
“What about your teammates?” I asked him. “Are they also willing to fix?”
There were two additional black players in the team.
“Don’t use them”, he said, “you just give me the money and I will do the job for you”.
Willis sounded fully committed.
“Why didn’t I meet you earlier?” I exclaimed.
Willis proved to be the kind of player that match-fixers want for their business; convinced and dedicated, the book adds.
Willis left IFK Mariehamn at the end of the 2010 season and his move to Tanzanian side Simba SC hit a snag as no International Transfer Certificate (ITC) was issued.
FIFA has now confirmed that no charges were ever instituted against the former Kenyan international.
“We can confirm that no disciplinary proceedings were opened by the secretariat of the Fifa Disciplinary Committee against the Kenyan player Willis Ochieng,” a Fifa spokesperson told Nairobi News.
He currently serves as the Gor Mahia goalkeepers’ trainer.