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CAF Clears Liberian Referee Jerry Yekeh Of Corruption Allegations

Liberia’s FIFA referee Jerry Yekeh has been cleared of corruption allegations by CAF.

Liberia’s FIFA referee Jerry Yekeh has been cleared of corruption allegations following a thorough check by the Confederation of African Football’s (CAF) disciplinary board.

Yekeh, 38, was among 11 referees provisionally banned by CAF July this year following the release of a video by undercover Ghanaian Journalist, Anas A. Anas.

According to the investigation, the arbiter was not filmed accepting the ‘gifts’ but is seen entering the room carrying materials where cash was being distributed.

His provisional ban by CAF was also followed by his suspension from all football activities by the Liberia Football Referees Association until after his appearance before the disciplinary board.

However, it has become a sigh of relief for the whistle-man and the country after CAF  cleared him.

“The disciplinary board decided that there is not sufficient evidence to implicate the involvement of Mr. Yekeh Jerry regarding the allegations of corruption made against him,” said CAF secretary-general Amr Fahmy in a letter to Yekeh.

“Therefore, the disciplinary board decides [that] the provisional suspension of Mr. Yekeh Jerry is lifted and the guiltiness of Mr. Yekeh Jerry over the corruption accusation is not established.”

Yekeh is one of the West African nation’s top referees whose career started in 2002 and has won several awards from the Liberia Football Association, including the Most Prominent Referee award in 2007-2008 and the best referee award in 2009, 2011, and 2012.

He became a FIFA referee in 2009 and then started in regional and youth international competitions.

One of Yekeh’s colleagues, Isaac Montgomery, who is also a Liberian FIFA referee, is one person who could not just hold his words about how he feels over Yekeh’s exoneration.

“You are one of the future referee instructors that we would have lost if the due process was not afforded to you,” he said.

“I appreciate you for the knowledge regarding the Laws of the game (LOTG) you have imparted in me and other referees over the years. You never stop interpreting the (LOTG) to me until I attained my FIFA badge in 2013. It was by God’s grace and your wonderful interpretation that I won the best referee title consistently for four years,” he added.

Montgomery has however urged referees in Liberia and Africa at large to see the Anas Anas’ videos as a wake-up call do away with acts that could demoralize the beauty of the game.

“Anas Anas, works will continue to remind us day by day as we perform our professional duties.”

Image: Courtesy of Anthony Kokoi

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