Football, like any other sport, has seen a drastic change in its development over the years. Today, one can safely say that football is dictated by the direction of money, with players and coaches seeking lucrative contracts and media companies forking out millions to secure exclusive rights to broadcast games.
However, the more the game develops, the more challenges it faces some of which are sophisticated in nature. One dark area that continues to tarnish the game’s glossy reputation is the recurring issue of match-fixing.
It is upon this background that FUFA has on Monday launched an anti-match fixing campaign aimed at curbing the vice.
While launching the campaign, FUFA President Hon. Magogo Moses Hassim indicated there is will from the Federation to stop the persisting challenge.
“We are here to launch an anti-match fixing campaign and this is an opportunity for us to read from the same page as FIFA who are at the fore front of this battle. We are aware that the more you promote football, the more you expose it to challenges and equally we must find solutions to them,” he started.
“Football today is facing a problem of match manipulation just like the wider society is faced with challenges like hunger, terrorism and money laundering. Match fixing kills the game because the beauty of football is in uncertainty. If you kill this element and results are predetermined then the game will not survive.”
The President also stated it is the Federation’s duty to fight match fixing and certain measures have been put in place.
“Whereas the players and match officials are the easiest targets, as FUFA we are coming up with measures that will desist anyone involved in the game from match fixing. A phone number (0787063409) and email address firstname.lastname@example.org have been put in place and whoever has information can report to us.” He said.
The President also revealed that for the next month, FUFA will give amnesty to anyone who has been involved in match fixing and can come out to denounce the vice. The Immunity will be in line with the football regulations.
FUFA CEO Edgar Watson highlighted how FUFA will reach out to the general public through sensitization programmes aimed at fighting match fixing.
“Today’s press conference is just the start of a long-term programme. Going forward, FUFA will embark on media campaigns to educate the masses, print out education material, reach out to clubs and coordinate with other Member Associations to interlink information.” The CEO stated.
Charles Twiine, a member of the FUFA Investigations Chamber called for collective efforts from all the football stakeholders.
“We are talking of a vice whose effects are unprecedented, cuts across different nations and very sophisticated. This calls for synergy of efforts to come up with robust mechanism.” Twiine indicated.
FUFA Legal Manager, Dennis Lukambi outlined the steps FUFA will make in case of any reports in regard to match fixing.
“FUFA signed an MoU with a data collecting firm called Sportradar to get information from our first and second division for the start. The same company is working with FIFA and this will enable us get intelligence reports.”
“Our collaboration with Sportradar will enable us to make thorough investigations and identify the culprits.”
“FUFA and Sportradar Integrity Services are cooperating towards gathering relevant investigation on actual events. The same company is working with FIFA and this will enable us get intelligence reports.”
The other measures will include, stopping games from taking place if there is sufficient evidence and withdrawing of players or match officials from games if cited in any match fixing scenarios prior.