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From $600 to $20 Bribe –Our Pick of the Most Amusing Bribery Scandal Involving African Referees

Referees received the biggest stick after a video by controversial journalist Anas captured arbiters accepting ‘tokens’.

The bribery scandal in Ghana has had many going bonkers. Referees received the biggest stick after a video by controversial journalist Anas captured arbiters accepting ‘tokens’. Kenyan whistle-man Arden Marwa is the most affected, losing his World Cup place having been also shown pocketing a bribe of $600 from undercover reporters posing as Ghanaian football officials during the West African Football Union tournament in 2017.

Alarmed over the involvement of its promising arbiter Ebrima Jallow in the headline-making five-minute video, Gambia’s Football Federation vowed to probe or take necessary actions in the hope it will be a deterrent.

The Number Twelve video scandal brings to the surface extent to which corruption has gripped the African game.

Ducor Sports takes a look back at the one of the most amusing scandals involving African referees.

Bribery in African sport largely involves dashing out huge sums to get arbiters influence outcome of a match in a team’s favour. Greed or poor incentives to referees is often blamed for the act.  With CAF’s standard pay scale to referees per game understood to be $1,200, it’s hard imagining four referees stooping low to accept a $20 bribe and yet is what Aziz Nyirenda and his assistants did.

In Nyirenda’s case, he was to share the figure with two of his assistants including the fourth match official.

The incident occurred last year, to be precise September, during a national Cup final match featuring Chitipa and NChalo United.

The four officials were paid a visit in their dressing room and asked to fix the game.

The issue came to light after the team they accepted the bribe from, Nchalo United lost on spot-kicks, demanded to be given their $15, leaving the referees with just a paltry $5 to share.

Severe punishment in the form a life ban was meted out on the quartet on the back of investigation by the Malawian Referee Association despite one of the arbiters Limbani Chisambi denying wrongdoing.

“I never took [a] share of the money. It is so sad that my career has ended in this manner,” Chisambi said.
This incident is today arguably Africa’s most amusing case involving bribing referees.

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