Nairobi City Stars withstand match-fixing drama to hold Batoto Ba Mungu

Nairobi City Stars players celebrate after scoring in a past match.[Jonah Onyango,Standard]

Nairobi City Stars yesterday weathered a match-fixing debacle to draw 1-1 with Sofapaka in yesterday's FKF Premier League match at Ruaraka Grounds

The match was marred with controversies after three suspects were on Friday evening arrested for allegedly trying to manipulate the game.

Police arrested the three match fixers after being set up by former footballer Festo Omukoto, and seven Nairobi City Stars players whom they had approached.

According to City Stars CEO Patrick Korir, his players told him they were promised Sh1.8 million if the deal went through and they would receive Sh30,000 in advance.

Korir thanked Omukoto and the City Stars players for standing for integrity.

“We want Kenyan football to be clean. It is surprising that when we are rebuilding after a wasteful 2022, some dark forces are still trying to destroy sports in Kenya," said Korir.

“I am very happy with my players for leading from the front in the ward against match fixing. It has to stop. Without action from within ourselves, then we cannot beat the menace."

Omukoto was among four local players banned by Fifa in 2022 from taking part in any football related activity for a period of four years after they were found guilty of match fixing when turning out for Kakamega Homeboyz.

Surprisingly, the incident happened barely a month after Korir revealed how unknown persons made unsuccessful attempts to convince the club to agree to fix its matches for a handsome amount of money in reward.

Nairobi City Stars CEO Patrick Korir during a press briefing at a Nairobi hotel.(Kelly Ayodi, Standard)

FKF CEO Barry Otieno thanked City Stars and police for helping the federation in the war against the vice.

He said the federation is aligned towards beating the vice through collaborations with individuals, clubs and international security agencies. 

“The federation wishes to reassure all football stakeholders and the general public of its commitment to safeguarding the integrity of all its leagues and competitions.

“We have established with the assistance of Fifa and local clubs an elaborate system to assist in detecting, preventing and reporting match-fixing,” said Otieno.

In the match, Samwel Kapen struck two minutes into the second half to give City Stars the lead before Rody Manga salvaged a point for Batoto ba Mungu in the 74th minute.

The draw hurt City Stars' push to move out of the relegation zone where they sit 16th with 14 points, two points away from safety.

Meanwhile, golden boot hopeful Benson Omalla (18 goals), who has already surpassed Elvis Rupia’s 17 goals he scored during the 2020-2021 season to finish runners up, will be seeking to continue with his fine form when Gor Mahia entertain Bidco at Nyayo Stadium today.

Omalla is six goals shy of Eric Kapaito’s 24 goals the former Kariobangi Sharks striker scored in the 2020-2021 season.

Other matches will see Bandari host third-placed Nzoia Sugar, second-placed KCB play Kariobangi Sharks while defending champions Tusker take on Talanta.

Messi picks MLS's Inter Miami in a stunning move after exit from PSG
West Ham win Europa Conference League
With world 1500m record, Kipyegon adds to her already impressive legacy
Okoro's magical hands that leave fans yearning for more