Zoo Kericho Denies Match Fixing, Appeals 2 Year Ban

KEY POINTS

  • Zoo Kericho was on Tuesday banned from participating in any football related event for the next two years after being reportedly found guilty of match fixing.
  • According to a letter signed by the Fifa Disciplinary Committee Chairman Alejandro, Kericho FC will now play in 3rd tier beginning 2021-22 season having been found guilty of fixing various matches.
  • However, the team stated that it was shocked by the decision which was arrived at through mere allegations, maintaining that they will be appealing the unfair decision.

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Zoo Kericho was on Tuesday banned from participating in any football related event for the next two years after being reportedly found guilty of match fixing.

The team confirmed that it will be lodging an official complaint to FIFA (world governing body) following their resolution to relegate them from the Football Kenya Federation League for match manipulation.

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According to a letter signed by the Fifa Disciplinary Committee Chairman Alejandro, Kericho FC will now play in 3rd tier beginning 2021-22 season having been found guilty of fixing various matches.

However, the team stated that it was shocked by the decision which was arrived at through mere allegations, maintaining that they will be appealing the unfair decision.

“We were earlier this year charged with manipulation of football matches and competitions contrary to art. 18 of the Fifa Disciplinary Code on the basis of a report compiled by the Fifa Integrity,” read part of a statement signed by the club chairman Ken Ochieng.

“The events purportedly leading to the charge involve two of the then Kenyan Premier League matches, now known as the Football Kenya Federation Premier League. The first match was played on January 27, 2019, in Machakos between Sofapaka and Zoo and the second was played on March 1, 2020, between Wazito FC and Zoo.

“Thereafter, the Fifa Integrity Department opened a preliminary investigation into the football affairs of the club. In the course of conducting its said investigations, the Fifa Integrity Department interrogated a number of our current and former players and officials.

“It is fundamentally worth noting that at the conclusion of its report the department stated: “…Fifa integrity believes that there is not enough evidence to conclusively identify a single specific individual to be held as the sole responsibility of the manipulation of the matches under scrutiny, based on the available evidence [namely the performance analysis and intelligence information].”

“In essence, it is our belief the report was inadequate and its findings doubtful. We in fact called upon the Fifa Disciplinary Committee to review the facts and the evidence over and above the said report.”

“We have since prepared our Appeal to the Fifa Appeals Committee under art. 56 Fifa Disciplinary Code which we shall soon file and we are confident our appeal shall be successful.” Added section of the letter.

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