Sinan RAJUB SENOGA
The FIFA Disciplinary Committee has expelled Zoo FC from the ongoing Kenyan Premier League with immediate effect after finding them guilty of having been involved in match manipulation in violation of the FIFA Disciplinary Code.
According to the FIFA Disciplinary Committee, the decision to expel Zoo FC is related to a series of matches in the Kenyan Premier League deemed to have been manipulated between 2018 and 2020 by individuals belonging to the club, as a consequence of which the club has been held responsible for the behavior of its members.
In a statement released by the club, it is indicated that the matches under scrutiny were played against Sofapaka in Machakos on 27 January 2019 and against Wazito FC on 1 March 2020.
In particular, the FIFA Disciplinary Committee determined that Zoo FC had breached article 8 (Responsibility) and article 18 (Manipulation of football matches and competitions) of the FIFA Disciplinary Code.
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The Committee decided to relegate Zoo FC from the Kenyan Premier League and to assign it to FKF Division One for the next season. However, the club has already confirmed that they will appeal the decision before the FIFA Appeal Committee.
” We will in the next ten (10) days write to them to provide further particulars of their decision which we believe is based on the misguided legal concept of “strict liability”
” We have since prepared our Appeal to the FIFA Appeals Committee under art. 56 FIFA Disciplinary Code which we shall soon file and are confident our appeal shall be successful. We shall also seek a stay of execution of the said decision that will allow us to continue participating in the league. We assure you that we are prepared to exhaust all legal avenues to ensure this unfair decision is reversed including lodging any further or other appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sports.”
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Reads part of the statement released by the club.
It should be noted that this is not the first time the FIFA Disciplinary Committee has been called to action in matters to do with match fixing in Kenya.
In February last year, FIFA announced a ban on four players Moses Chikati, Festus Okiring, Festo Omutoko and Ugandan midfielder George Mandela on grounds of match manipulation while plying their trade with Kenya Premier League side Kakamega Homeboyz.
Of the four, three were handed four-year bans while Mandela received a life ban citing his instrumental role in the match fixing scandal.