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INTRIGUE OVER MISSING CASH: Ingwe refund Sh10m to Betway, Sh1.8m unaccounted for

 Chairman AFC Mathews Opwora and Betways Head of business Development Africa Anthony Prissman during the launch of official partnership between AFC and Betways at Nyayo National Stadium, Basketball Gymnasim on tuesday, Feb 2, 2016. PHOTO: JONAH ONYANGO.

AFC Leopards have been forced to refund a Sh10miilion down-payment to betting and gaming company Betway.

The refund came after Leopards rejected the Betway deal and instead, opted to sign a shirt sponsorship deal with another betting firm, SportPesa.

But intrigues have emerged over the refund, with the club's co-chairman Mathews Opwora being accused of withdrawing Sh1.8million without the permission of club officials.

The accusations were made by Dan Mule, who together with Opwora, co-chair the club following a directive from the Sports Tribunal until they hold elections.

Mule yesterday said they are yet to be told why, or when the money was used. According to Mule, they have forwarded the matter to tribunal chairman John Ohaga.

"It has emerged that Opwora and another official opened a secret account where the Betway money was deposited. The surprising thing is that they went ahead and withdrew Sh1.8million. We still do not know why they did that, or even how they used that money," he said.

Ohaga admitted the same happened and said he told Opwora to refund the money.

Ohaga, who also chairs the club's Interim Management Committee (IMC), confirmed he authorized the repayment of Betway's money and topped it with Sh1.8million, which was missing.

"When there was a dispute between the two companies, the tribunal cancelled both deals. After that, we negotiated a new deal with SportPesa, which then meant we refund Betway their money.

"However, I found out that Sh1.8million was missing from the Sh10million they had given us and so we had to get it from somewhere and pay them their full amount. This was the fair thing to do in this situation," he explained.

"Having said that, I have made it very clear to Opwora that he has to refund the Sh1.8million because so far, he has not given us a convincing reason as to what it was used for, or even what really happened."

On his part, Opwora blamed his co-chairman for using the matter to score political points.

"This is an internal matter and the whole executive is aware of it. My question is why is it being brought up now yet it happened a long time ago and is being dealt with internally. Could it be to score some political wars?," he said.

Asked whether he took the money, Opwora was noncommittal, only saying that an audit of the club's accounts is on-going and this is what will show whether money is missing, or not.

"It is difficult to say if any money is missing as that can only be done after an audit of our accounts is done. The fact is I cannot withdraw money from the club's account alone,"he concluded.

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