Sports

Federation distances self from disgraced Aden Marwa after CAF hands him life ban

The fate of beleaguered Kenyan referee Aden Marwa, who has been banned for life by Confederation of African Football (CAF), over bribery allegations has been sealed after Football Kenya Federation (FKF) proclaimed that it will not appeal the banishment on his behalf.

Yesterday, FKF President Nick Mwendwa said the federation’s hands are tied in as far as intervening on the unprecedented decision to ban Marwa from all CAF related activities is concerned, adding that it is bound by rules to respect any decision made by the Africa football governing body.

“In as much as the decision to ban Marwa from all CAF football activities is painful, this is not our case to necessitate lodging an appeal. As FKF, we must obey the instructions of CAF but I must say Marwa has the right to appeal as an individual affected by the alleged scandal,” said Mwendwa.

Efforts to reach Marwa for comments have been unsuccessful as his phone has been switched off since the alleged scandal was unearthed last month.

At the same time, Mwendwa said the damning decision by CAF restricts Marwa from officiating any football match in Kenya.

“He (Marwa) is not authorised whatsoever to officiate matches in Kenya and as I said earlier, we must uphold and respect CAF rules. I wish him the best of luck in whatever career he will choose outside football officiating,” added Mwendwa.

Marwa was dropped from the list of referees who were shortlisted to officiate at the ongoing Fifa World Cup in Russia following a bribery scandal unearthed just two days before the tournament started.

He was filmed by a Ghanaian investigative journalist receiving a bribe of $600 (Sh60,000) in Morocco during the 2018 African Nations Championships (CHAN).

Marwa was among 63 officials chosen to officiate at the lucrative World Cup in Russia, an assignment that would have earned him at least $25,000 (Sh2.5 million).

He was also among those selected to officiate the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. However, he was not assigned any match after his centre referee fell ill during the event and was set to make his debut in Russia.

The decision to expel Marwa was arrived at by the CAF disciplinary committee following the scandal that saw him lose the chance of becoming the first Kenyan to officiate at a World Cup match.

The verdict read in part: “The following decisions were taken by the CAF Disciplinary Board regarding the referees involved: Mr Marwa Rage, assistant referee (Kenya); life ban from all CAF related football activities”.

However, mystery surrounds comparatively lighter sentences handed to other referees who were implicated in bribery alongside Marwa as Gambian Jalow Ebrima and Togolese Yanissou Bebon were banned for 10 years each.

Dennis Dembele of Ivory Coast will be in the cold for six years while Bouban Quedraogo of Burkina Faso has been suspended for five years.

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