Fifa want match-fixing probe into Kenyan 2010 World Cup tie

Fifa wants a full investigation into allegations that several Kenya internationals were fixed, including a 2010 World Cup qualifier.

The move by football’s world governing body follows a preliminary investigation into the roles of former Kenya international George Owino and convicted match-fixer Wilson Raj Perumal.

A ten-page Fifa report says it has prima facie evidence of the pair conspiring to manipulate and influence the result of several international matches.

“Fifa is currently looking into the matter and an investigation into alleged match-manipulation in Kenyan football is underway,” a Fifa spokesperson told BBC Sport.

The allegations refer to internationals played by Kenya between 2009-2011, which include a World Cup clash against Tunisia which the latter won 1-0.

“Mr Owino … appears to have conspired to manipulate international matches and enter into corrupt agreements with Mr Perumal,” stated Fifa’s preliminary investigation report.

Owino, who played for Kenya between 2008 and 2015, has denied any wrongdoing.

Meanwhile, Perumal, who has previously been convicted for match-fixing in Finland and Hungary, has yet to publicly comment on the latest allegations.

The report dated September 2018 has only just come to light.

Fifa relied on email exchanges between the pair, dating from June 2009 to March 2011, in the assessment of its preliminary findings.

The Zurich-based organisation maintains that Perumal, a Singaporean, contacted Owino and two other players in the Kenyan team with instructions relating to the October 2009 game against Tunisia.

According to Fifa’s report, Perumal’s instructions via email were: “Note that if u loose (sic) by 1-0 to Tunisia u will end up with nothing. I want a 3-0 score line.”

There are further claims that Perumal wanted unidentified games at the Nile Basin tournament in Egypt in January 2011 to be manipulated.

An international friendly between Kenya and South Africa the following month is also under scrutiny.

Fifa’s fourth area of interest is a plan Owino appeared to make with Perumal whereby the Kenyan would be recruited by an unidentified football club in Australia to influence matches.

“The purpose I am gonna bring you there is for business,” Perumal purportedly wrote to Owino in an email dated 27 March 2010.

“But you are to remain loyal to me only… Salary each month 30,000 US. If I say loose (sic) u do as I say. Or else you wont see your salary. DEAL.”

Two days later, an apparent reply from Owino’s account stated: “Fine no problem cz even me a wnt a good life 4 my family so I will do as u say so. is there trials or is jst direct signin.”

The final part of the evidence presented in the Fifa report are emails said to be from Owino in which he admits receiving money from Perumal.

“Yes, thank u very much n may u b blessed,” one such e-mail reportedly stated.

Perumal, who was arrested for match manipulation offences in 2011, has revealed in the past that he has successfully infiltrated several African countries.

Owino last played for Kenyan side Mathare FC.

Fifa is already investigating another 2010 World Cup qualifier in Africa with regard to possible match-fixing, as it probes a match between Sierra Leone and South Africa from 2008.

About Enoch Ntiamoah

Enoch Ntiamoah Siaw is a Broadcast Journalist, Website Designer and social Media Person

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