A FIFA assistant referee from Kenya has been captured on camera receiving a $600 bribe in order to influence the outcome of an international football match. As a result of this revelation contained in an expose aired by the BBC on Wednesday, Marwa Range has been struck off the list of match officials for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. He was among the 63 assistant referees set to officiate at next month's showpiece.
The expose was produced by controversial Ghanaian journalist Anas Aremeyaw and exposes Marwa Range alongside dozens of other match officials allegedly getting the cash. The footage shows Range, a mathematics teacher from Kotombo Secondary School in Migori County, receiving the cash at a background that resembles his hotel room. His accuser says it was shot during the 2018 Africa Nations Championship tournament in Morocco. Interestingly, the Kenyan match official is heard in this clip acknowledging the cash as a ‘gift’ and even seems all too keen to extend the friendship. "You know, thank you for the gift but the most important is that friendship, getting to know each other", says Range. The 41-year old was unavailable for comment, but Football Kenya Federation President Nick Mwendwa has promised to investigate the matter. "We only learnt of the allegations through the media", said Mwendwa. "As such, we want to let due process take its course, it's important to note that as a federation we are yet to receive any complaint in regard to the match official, whether written, verbal or implied. That notwithstanding is to say that FKF has a zero tolerance on corruption but also strongly believes in justice and fairness for all that is why we will be meeting with the match official in the coming days to hear his side of the story before an official position on the matter is arrived at, this even as we await any investigation on the same by the world football governing body FIFA".
Marwa Range has been a FIFA assistant referee since 2008. He also made the final list for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, but was not given any match to officiate. He officiated as an assistant referee at the 2016 Club World Cup in Japan. He was named as a CAF assistant referee in the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup and featured in a similar capacity in the 2012, 2013 and 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, as well as at Chan (African Nations Championship) competitions, FIFA U-17 World Cup, CAF U-23 Championship and the FIFA Club World Cup.
The video clip shows Marwa Range alongside dozens of other match officials and senior football administrators receiving money, in contravention of FIFA’s code of ethics, including a Gambian referee receiving $500 from journalists posing as fans and the current Ghana Football Association boss Kwesi Nyantakyi receiving a “gift” of $65,000.
Source: Daily Nation