Rwandan police say they have arrested two football officials in the country and are investigating allegations that they tried to bribe a referee before an AFCON qualifying match against the Ivory Coast last week.
Rwanda lost the game 2-1.
The Rwanda Investigation Bureau said Federation Rwandaise de Football Association secretary general Francois Regis Uwayezu and commissioner for competitions Eric Ruhamiriza were arrested on Wednesday after allegations were made by Namibian referee, Jackson Pavaza.
The FRFA said it was ‘shocked’ by the allegations made by Pavaza and that there had been a ‘misunderstanding’ after the federation received a request from the referee for an additional $247 in travel expenses. They believed this was a ‘per official’ request so sent him almost $1,000 to cover all four officials.
In July and August the Confederation of African Football banned 18 referees, assistant referees and referee committee officials in a range of punishments that spanned from 10 years to life.
Although the CAF declined to give any details about the cases, the rulings were handed down after a number of documentaries alleged that corruption is rife with African soccer, something you’d be in no doubt about if you’ve read ‘Red Card: FIFA and the Fall of the Most Powerful Men in Sports’ which is an excellent book that I can’t recommend enough.
As part of Arsenal’s sponsorship deals with Rwanda and Fly Emirates, we will be keeping an eye on the two countries moving forward.