Corruption in sport makes its unsavoury mark in many disciplines, from athletics, tennis and cycling to cricket and football. Penalties vary widely, as there are no standard regulations akin to the World Anti-Doping Agency’s code, regarding those found guilty of corruption in sport. A cricketer who deliberately under-performs to influence the outcome of a game may receive a different penalty to another player who does the same thing at another time.
The Confédération Africaine de Football (CAF) disciplinary board made the decision over the weekend, and in a statement said that Marwa Range received a life ban from all CAF-related football activities, while 10 other officials received bans ranging from two years to 10 years.
Range was on the list of 63 assistant referees for the 2018 Fifa World Cup, but was removed because of the allegations of bribery. He was filmed by Ghanaian investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas, receiving $US600 before a game in this year’s African Nations championship, which took place in Morocco. Anas’ Tiger Eye PI investigative team had posed as top Ghanaian football executives and met Marwa in a hotel room. This led to Marwa’s withdrawal from the World Cup, although the Kenyan denies any wrongdoing.
The film was released a week before the World Cup kicked off. It was the culmination of two years of investigation by the Tiger Eye PI team and implicated dozens of football officials, mainly from West and East African countries. Among them was Ghana’s Football Association president Kwesi Nyantakyi, who was also a vice-president at CAF and a Fifa executive council member. He resigned after being caught on film negotiating how to privately benefit from a sponsorship deal — also orchestrated by the investigative team posing as investors — with his association.
Anas approached regional football bodies, as well as Fifa and Caf, asking them to sanction the officials. A further 11 people have been provisionally suspended and are due to appear before the CAF disciplinary board in early August.
The video does include two men who refused to take the bribe — Kwaku Ayiah, a lawyer, and JF Mensah, a match commissioner with the Ghana Football Association.