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SPORTS

FKF asks Parliament to enact laws to curb match fixing vice

FOOTBALL By Rodgers Eshitemi | March 14th 2021
Gor Mahia Chairman Ambrose Rachier during the FKF Integrity Action Plan Workshop for FKF Premier League Clubs' Chairmen at Hotel Utali on Saturday, March 13, 2021. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Lack of a legal framework and regulations are some of the reasons for the rising numbers of match fixing cases in Kenyan football.

And in a bid to curb the menace threatening the integrity and credibility of the Football Kenya Federation Leagues, FKF in collaboration with the FKF Premier League clubs are set to present a legal policy to Parliament to help them in prosecution of match fixing suspects.

The federation in line with Fifa and CAF has also set up an intergrity department to be headed by former Nairobi Stima coach Michael Kamura and partnered with international sports data and technology company Genius Sports to provide them with data and integrity services.

These are some of the raft measures adopted by the federation during yesterday’s integrity meeting in Nairobi involving FKF CEO Barry Otieno and officials from the 18 Premier League clubs.

While explaining how difficult it has been for the federation to prosecute match fixing suspects, Otieno said they have engaged their betting partners to help them sensitise and educate different stakeholders through seminars.

“As you are aware, match fixing is a global menace, but FKF in partnership with Fifa and CAF have proactively decided to hold this workshop to sensitise the clubs’ chairmen,” said Otieno.

“These workshops are not only meant to inform, educate, prevent and detect manipulation of matches but also to develop a legal policy document which can be presented to Parliament to ensure there is a legal framework that can help us mitigate and address this issue by prosecuting those involved in it,”he said.

Head of Integrity at FKF Michael Kamure. Saturday, March 13, 2021. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

He continued: “At the moment, there are no regulations and a legal framework that can assist the federation to fight match fixing. If we arrest someone today on suspicion of match manipulation, there are no laws that will allow us to take him to court.

“FKF can only discipline its members on the cases of match fixing, but not non-members. That’s where the challenge is and we need the government to come up with a regulatory framework to try and prosecute them outside football. We have no powers and resources to arrest and prosecute the suspects.

“We have engaged our betting partners to try and allocate money that will go towards sensitising, detecting, informing and educating different stakeholders on manipulation.

“There’s also need to broadcast these matches. Our commercial deal with StarTimes still stands but we are pursuing our partnership with Genius Sports to see whether matches can be recorded for the sole purpose to try and identify cases of match manipulation and fair competition.”

Even as Tusker chairman Daniel Aduda warmly welcomed the federation’s initiative, he challenged the government and other stakeholders to help them fight the vice.

“The training has come at the right time given that this menace has been with us both locally and globally for a long time. But it has to be a continuous conversation because this is a problem that’s not going away today,” said Aduda.

“Once we are done with these trainings, the onus will now be on the clubs’ management also to trickle down the awareness and continue with the sensitisation of players on the consequences that may befall them as individuals and the negative publicity that comes with it.

“This training still in its infancy stages and they are only rolling it out now. So, let’s wait for the implementation part of it and see.”

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