Kenya: Match-Fixing - the Buck Stops Squarely At FKF's Doorstep

Few days ago, the World football governing body Fifa directed the expulsion of Zoo FC from the Football Kenya Federation Premier League over allegations of match fixing.

The club was found guilty of engaging in manipulation of some matches in the past season. It was shocking to say the least, but not surprising.

I have been following our league and to be honest, the federation must dig deep to unearth the scam that is now threatening to raise serious questions about the credibility of the competition.

Early this year, the chairman of Western Stima FC Laban Jobita said he had been approached by a Ugandan match fixer to have his players manipulate a game.

Last year, Kakamega Homeboyz had several of its players suspended by world football governing body Fifa for engaging in the vice.

We can go on and on about players who have been punished including former Harambee Stars defender George "Wise" Owino.

But it is not my position to point fingers at those who have been involved.

We have had rumours at our club Gor Mahia that some players were engaging in match fixing. Club chairman Ambrose Rachier came out strongly and said the rumours were untrue.

Again, it is upon investigators to prove whether the rumours are true or untrue.

What I am driving at is we must fight to protect the integrity of the local league.

We are faced currently with a situation where clubs are cash-strapped - Gor Mahia included. Players are not being paid their dues. Because of this they have become easy targets of bookmakers who are approaching them to manipulate matches as it happened in the case of Zoo FC and Wazito.

Question is, how many other matches have been manipulated in the top-tier league in Kenya and in the lower league.

The buck stops squarely at the doorstep of our federation. What has the federation done to insulate our league from match fixing? Nothing.

The war against match fixing will not be won by just expelling Zoo FC. For Zoo to have manipulated the game, there must have been other parties too who were involved. It takes two to tango.

Therefore, while what has befallen Zoo is sad, especially the players who may not have been involved, we must ensure our competitions are credible.

And to Gor Mahia, it is my hope and prayer our players are not involved in the vice.

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