•On Saturday, police nabbed a Ugandan national, Fred Ronald Niwagira Mwine, in a Kisumu hotel, for purportedly attempting to bribe players in order to influence the outcome of FKF Premier League fixture between Western Stima and KCB KPL
•It isn't the first time Kenyan players and officials have been left with an egg on their faces. In January 2019, the then Kakamega Homeboyz coach Paul Nkata was dismissed after he was accused of engaging in acts of manipulating match results.
It's quite unfortunate that the local football scene is increasingly being infested by match-fixing scandals.
On Saturday, police nabbed a Ugandan national, Fred Ronald Niwagira Mwine, in a Kisumu hotel, for purportedly attempting to bribe players in order to influence the outcome of a Football Kenya Federation Premier League fixture between Western Stima and KCB at Nakuru Afraha Stadium.
According to reports, Mwine had already placed Sh70,000 on the table as down payment in an enticing deal that could have seen the team manager, four defenders and a goalkeeper ultimately share out a whopping Sh600,000 among themselves if the deal had gone through.
Western Stima chairman Laban Jobita blew the whistle on the vice after laying a trap and eavesdropping on their conversation. The incident only serves to give credence to speculations that match-fixing abounds in the country.
It isn't the first time Kenyan players and officials have been left with eggs on their faces. In January 2019, the then Kakamega Homeboyz coach Paul Nkata was dismissed after he was accused of allegedly engaging in acts of manipulating match results.
The development came just days after Fifa invoked article 69 paragraph one of the Fifa Disciplinary Code to ban Homeboyz players Moses Chikati, Festo Omukoto, Festus Okiring and George Mandela who were found guilty of the vice.
On April 24, 2019, former Harambee Stars player George Owino was banned from all football-related activities for 10 years and fined Sh1.5 million by Fifa over match-fixing.
Such incidents bring into question our players' moral aptitude and self-belief in the sport. Gor Mahia midfielder John Ochieng is, however, quick to defend local players from the hangman's noose, observing that those who fall into such traps are driven by an urge for making quick money especially considering how poorly Kenyan clubs do pay their players.
Indeed, clubs have a responsibility to curb such incidents by ensuring they offer their players good salaries. Hopefully, that will help nip the vice in the bud before it penetrates deeper and spreads its roots further.
On the other hand, our footballers must learn to believe in good work ethics because this is the only path to scaling greater heights. There is no shortcut to success. Kenyan soccer star Michael Olunga is a perfect example that persistence, hard work and discipline can yield fruits in the long run.