- A Russian, Ugandan and Kenyan were arrested last Friday
- They had attempted to fix the match between City Stars and Sofapaka
- They have been released on a Sh300,00 bond
Three suspects arrested within Roysambu area last Friday for attempting to fix the Nairobi City Stars vs Sofapaka match played on Saturday have been charged in court, and freed on a Sh300,000 bond and sureties of the same amount.
A Russian national identified as Akhiad Kubiev, Ugandan Bernard Nabende and Kenyan Martin Munga Mutua appeared at the Makadara Law Courts on Monday, where they denied charges of conspiracy to commit a felony contrary to section 393 of the penal code and cheating contrary to section 315 of the penal code.
“You jointly conspired with others not before court by inducing Samson Otieno Aloo, the team manager of City Stars to deliver football match fixing of the City Stars versus Sofapaka game which would be played at Ruaraka on 11 march 2023 by promising to pay him 14,000 USD at the end of the match, an act which would influence the result of the game,” the charge sheet read.
The three were arrested as they tried to bribe seven City Stars players and Team Cordinator Sam Otieno to influence their match against Sofapaka which should have ended with three goals for Batot oba Mungu.
It all allegedly started when the Russian contacted former Kakamega Homeboyz player Festo Omukoto, who also had a stint with City Stars, in a bid to find contact with some strategic City Stars players.
Omukoto, who is serving a four year ban for match fixing and has now turned to be a crusader against the vice, then contacted Nairobi City Stars CEO Patrick Korir and informed him of the plan.
Korir liased with police officers to arrest the fixers
Korir then made arrangements with the police and media to nab the fixers.
“I called the Police FC CEO and asked him for his help to have officers go with us after the meeting had been set up. They were initially to meet at a hotel before they changed to a house in Roysambu. We had planned to give three players and Sam, but then they were specific and asked for seven players,” Korir explained.
According to the plan, they were to concede the first goal within the first 15 minutes of the game and that is why a goalkeeper and some defenders were key in the plot. There after, they were to concede two more goals in the last 15 minutes.
They were to be paid Sh30,000 each as ‘Transport’ and after the game, they would all be given a total of 14,000 USD (aprox Sh1.8mn) to share among themselves. With eight involved in the plan (seven players and an official), each was to pocket approximately Sh227,000.
“He had made it very clear that everything had to go to plan and if they did not follow the script, they would not be paid,” Korir further stated.
Complicated match fixing web
He adds; “This thing is very complicated and very much entrenched in Kenyan football. The results you see on the pitch should always be taken with a pinch of salt. It not only involves players and officials, but referees as well.”
The FKF Premier League has been rocked with match fixing claims for a while, with Mathare United recently suspending two senior players after they were implicated in plots to fix their matches.
Ironically, since the two players were suspended, the team’s results have improved and they have now moved five points off the relegation zone.
The Football Kenya Federation says it is monitoring the situation and will work with the relevant agencies to ensure the vice is rooted out.