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FKF wants Parliament’s help to criminalize match fixing

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FKF President Nick Mwendwa
  • FKF has been fighting match fixing which has been rampant in Kenya
  • There have been several arrests but laws to charge are limited
  • FKF officials appeared before Parliament’s committee on sports

The Football Kenya Federation (FKF) has asked for Parliament’s help to formulate laws that will make it easier to criminalize match-fixing.

Kenya has been struggling with the issue of match fixing for the last several years, with a number of players currently suspended due to the issue.

FKF officials were called in by Parliament’s committee on Sports where they were asked to communicate what was aiding the growth of the vice and the efforts they have put in place to ensure the same is dealt with.

In a meeting with the National Assembly Committee, FKF President Nick Mwendwa told the lawmakers that match-fixing was a serious threat to the game.

“When football is manipulated it ruins the authenticity of the game which drives fans away. If you look at it this way, it’s clear that match-fixing is a massive threat to football as a sport and an industry, “he explained.

The President urged the lawmakers to act swiftly to protect the game.

More action needed

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FKF President Nick Mwendwa and CEO Barry Otieno

“The Federation can only take action against match-fixers who are our members but this is not enough. We need to have people arrested and punished so we can end this vice. Today if we take a match-fixer to the police station, there is no law to charge these individuals. We are asking you to help us close this gap.”

FKF revealed that match-fixing is mostly run by syndicates operating mostly out of Asia who approach players and match officials to manipulate games,

The Federation has suspended 25 individuals comprising 7 match officials and 18 players.

“The vice took root in our leagues between November 2021 and October 2022 when FKF was suspended. Match fixers took advantage of the fact that there was no regulator with the expertise to detect and track what was happening.”

PS Mueke says Ministry also involved 

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Sports PS Jonathan Mueke

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth, Sports, Culture and the Arts Jonathan Mueke, said the Ministry was undertaking a comprehensive review of the National Sports Policy as a precursor to drafting legislation.

“We want to do it right, we put in place the policy then draft legislation,” he said.

The Chair of the Sports Committee Dan Wanyama committed to delivering legislation that will criminalize match-fixing in Kenya.

“We have heard you, we will help put in place legislation to criminalize match fixing so that those who engage in this vice can be charged and arrested in a court of law. “

Other members of the Committee who attended the session are Hon Naomi Waqo (Marsabit), Hon Catherine Osanyo (Busia), Hon Dr. Jackson Kosgey (Nominated), Hon Mary Emaase (Teso South), Hon Charles Nguna (Mwingi West) and Hon Gonzi Rai (Kinango).

Most recently, three match fixers were arrested in Nairobi’s Roysambu area by police after a tip off from Nairobi City Stars CEO Patrick Korir.

The dragnet was set as the players and officials went on to meet the match fixers to finalize on a ploy to fix an FKF Premier League match.
Mathare United also earlier in the season suspended two senior players on allegations of match fixing while late last year, several players affiliated to Zoo Kericho were suspended by the Federation over similar allegations of match fixing

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