Kenya: Owino Set to Appeal FIFA's 10-Year Ban

Nairobi — George Owino's legal team will next week file an application for stay orders at FIFA to temporarily suspend his 10-year ban for match manipulation until an appeal on the same is heard and determined by the Appeals Board.

The former Harambee Stars defender was on Wednesday handed the lengthy ban after being found guilty of playing part in a scheme to manipulate matches at national team level for betting purposes.

But on Thursday, his lawyer Felix Majani said they will appeal the decision and are ready to go as high as the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) to see the ban either lifted or shortened.

"We will go in to file for stay orders next week to see whether the ban can be temporarily halted pending the determination of our appeal. I have already written to FIFA and ask them to furnish us with the entire decision so that we can begin our appeal process," Majani told Capital Sport.

If FIFA does not give the stay orders, then Owino's legal team will prepare for a lengthy battle to see the decision overturned and this will start at FIFA's own Appeals Committee.

"We are prepared to follow the entire due process, but ready to go all the way to CAS because we believe we will get a fair ruling there. Once we get the whole decision that includes the background and the findings, then we can put up our appeal," Majani stated.

-Definitely take time

He added; "This will definitely take time and can stretch up to two years at most. It is a long journey but we are prepared to take it. It will not be easy but I will do my best, first to get the stay orders then to get the decision overturned."

FIFA's ruling was delivered on Wednesday and included further sanctions for for nine others who were banned for life after extensive investigations found them guilty of manipulating games for financial gain through betting.

They were accused of working with convicted match fixer Raj Perumal who has faced court sentences in various countries and was turned into a FIFA witness.

Owino's legal team have their work cut out especially with FIFA having forwarded tangible evidence including e-mail exchanges between Owino and Perumal detailing how they planned to allegedly influence the outcome of matches.

-14 games

Among the 14 games that Owino is said to have aided in fixing were the 2010 World Cup qualifiers against Nigeria and Tunisia in Nairobi, both of which didn't go as per the fixing script.

FIFA also accuses Owino to have offered in recruiting other players into the syndicate, singling out the 2011 Nile Basin tournament in Egypt where Owino did not make the team but offered to recruit players who made the cut.

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