Fifa summons Kenyan players for match fixing probe - Beaking Kenya News

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Saturday, 21 November 2020

Fifa summons Kenyan players for match fixing probe


World football governing body Fifa has summoned several players and club officials for probing on match manipulation in the Kenyan Premier League.

In a series of articles between 2019 and early this year, Nation Sport revealed how match-fixing had been gaining ground in the Kenyan Premier League.

The Fifa Integrity Unit has been conducting its own independent investigations over the same and banned four Kakamega Homeboyz players over alleged match-fixing. Moses Chikati, Festo Omukoto, and Festus Okiring received four-year bans from all football-related activities while Ugandan George Mandela was banned for life.

As part of its ongoing investigations into the alleged match manipulation in Kenya's top-tier, Fifa has now summoned players and officials from various clubs in the league from next week.

Zoo FC will be first in line with coach Herman Iswekha, former coach Sammy Okoth, club owner, and chairman Ken Ochieng already informed by Football Kenya Federation (FKF) to avail themselves at Kandanda House for the interviews.

The club's former players Sammy Sindani, Vincent Misikhu, Martin Elungat, and Johnstone Ligare have also been summoned.

"FKF is in receipt of communication from Fifa with regard to preliminary investigations on alleged incidents of match manipulation in Kenyan football. In this regards, Fifa has requested FKF for support in their investigations as they plan to interview various players, coaches, and officials involved in Kenyan football by providing premises for the interviews and inviting the aforementioned individuals," a letter sent to one of the subjects and signed by FKF CEO Barry Otieno reads in part.

According to a reliable source who sought anonymity, more club officials and players from several other teams have also been invited for the integrity interviews but Nation Sport could not confirm when they are specifically scheduled to face the Fifa Committee investigating match-fixing in Kenya.

Former Kenyan International George "Wise" Owino became the first high profile player in Kenya to be banned by Fifa for alleged match-fixing early last year. He was slapped with a 10-year ban and close to Sh2 million in fines for allegedly trying to manipulate several international matches involving Kenya in collaboration with renowned match-fixer Wilson Raj Perumal.

Interestingly, it is Owino who introduced Mark Danyi, a former Hungarian footballer who has previously been sanctioned and was involved in the same match-fixing trial with Perumal, to Zoo FC owner Ken Ochieng.

Danyi was trying to acquire Zoo FC early last through a fictitious and non-existent company known as TSMC Sports Consultancy.

The deal never materialised and as Nation Sport found out then, this was all a well-orchestrated match-fixing plan waiting to explode. 

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