Match fixing menace in the country continues to be a thorn in the flesh for many football stakeholders. Despite various exposes made by various media houses on the same, no permanent solution has been found to deal with this growing vice that threatens to completely taint the image of the beautiful game.
A number of football stakeholders like club owners are however out to put an end to the vice and are doing everything within their power to get the truth.
Wazito FC owner Ricardo Badoer is now offering Kshs.10 million to Kshs.20 million to anyone who will present him with solid evidence about match fixing on the Kenyan football scene.
The businessman has now sought the help of activist Boniface Mwangi in a bid to unravel the whole truth behind match fixing especially in the Kenya Premier League (now Betking Premier League)
Below is a message Mr. Badoer sent to Boniface Mwangi:
This is not the first time Mr. Badoer is seeking to unravel the mystery behind match fixing. Back in January, he challenged anyone with proof of match fixing to come forward and give him all the necessary information for a Kshs.10 million shillings reward.
“I challenge anyone with proof of match-fixing in Kenya to come forward. Anyone who gives me the names of these people will get KSh10 million from me,” he said.
Apart from Ricardo Badoer, Sofapaka FC President Elly Kalekwa and Kakamega Homeboyz FC Chairman Cleophas Shimanyula have also in the past raised concern over match fixing.
THE SOFAPAKA CIRCUS
Back in 2019, Kalekwa’s Sofapaka became victims of a match-fixing racket after some foreigners from a Singapore based company almost led to the downfall of the club through a very suspicious deal.
The company had pledged to bring Sofapaka a foreign coach and five players all who also had to be foreigners. The six individuals came in and had their salaries catered for by the Singapore based company.
It is however worth noting that the company never deposited any money to the Sofapaka bank account as they had agreed. The deal between the two entities was later terminated.
It was after the unfortunate happenings that Kalekwa opened up how his team found itself between a rock and a hard stone.
“Immediately after we had signed that partnership, I felt that something was not right. I kept wondering why these sponsors were only interested in paying a foreign coach and the salaries of a foreign goalkeeper and defenders,” Kalekwa told Nation Sport.
“After a few games, I started noticing strange things happening before and during our matches. For three months they had not given even a shilling to the club but were religiously paying the foreign-based players. The moment I raised my suspicion with them, they left the country and cut off all communications with us,” he said.
“I then confronted the foreign players one after the other, and they confessed. They told me that indeed they had been instructed to throw away matches, but that they had not yet started doing it. I had to let them all go because I do not condone match-fixing,” he added.
An investigation by Nation Sports later revealed that their was no online trace of the said company that Sofapaka signed a sponsorship deal with.
The company, Living 3D Holdings Ltd was operated by a group of people out to fix games in the Kenya Premier League.
IN COMES KAKAMEGA HOMEBOYZ
Away from Sofapaka, Kakamega Homeboyz chairman Cleophas Shimanyula once blew the whistle on an ongoing match-fixing syndicate at his club.
Investigations were launched after which four players from the club were banned for taking part in acts of match fixing.
Moses Chikati, Festo Omukoto, Festus Okiring were banned for four years while George Mandela got a lifetime ban from all football activities.
The Fifa Disciplinary Committee had found the players guilty of having been involved in match manipulation in violation of article 69 paragraph one of the Fifa Disciplinary Code (2017 ed.).
“In particular, given his central role in the conspiracy, the player George Mandela, Uganda, has been banned from taking part in any kind of football-related activity at national and international level (administrative, sports or any other) for life,” read a statement from Fifa.
“Moreover, the following individuals [Moses Chikati, Festus Okiring, and Festo Omukoto] have 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 (4) years.”
The match-fixing syndicate in Kenya is an intricate web that involves football players, referees and many other stakeholders out to destroy the game.
Who will save the Kenyan football scene from the greedy match fixing agents?
Watch a recent Investigative Feature (The Football Con) by NTV’s Idah Waringa on Match-Fixing in Kenya Below: