Uganda Premier League side has sensationally claimed that they were offered millions of Ugandan shillings to throw league matches.
In a statement sent to Ugandan media, Onduparaka claimed that they had been approached by unnamed individuals with promises of huge amounts of money if they lost a select number of matches. They claimed this vice, branding it an invasion, was slowly eating the Ugandan league.
The matches identified for fixing were against Tooro United and Wakiso Giants. Tooro failed to raise a team while they lost to Wakiso Giants 1-0.
Mobile phone contacts
“Onduparaka FC is concerned about the growing invasion of the Uganda Premier League (UPL) by persons whose sole agenda is to manipulate league games with promises of huge sums of money to those willing to adhere to their demands. We have made it very clear internally that any player or staff found engaging in match-fixing will be automatically dismissed from the club,” the statement read in part.
They, however, failed to name the said culprits but promised to forward their names and mobile phone contacts to FUFA and FIFA.
A club official told Uganda's Daily Monitor that match-fixing claims were rife in the league and it had reported at their own club before.
"The first evidence we had was when our former coach (Livingston Mbabazi is their most recent) told us he had been approached by some two gentlemen that he didn’t really name. They told him that if he wanted to get some money out of the league, he should sell certain games. So he told us that he out-rightly refused and these gentlemen had been calling him and at some point, he blocked their numbers. He shared that with us as management to caution us. We let that pass,” said Mercy Grace Manduru the club's head of communications and marketing.
Daily Monitor reports that Onduparaka was approached by some individuals through the chairman and offered $10,000 to lose against Tooro United by 3-0 in the first half. The chairman rejected the offer and Tooro lost that match by forfeiture as they failed to raise a team.
In the second incidence, an unidentified caller approached an Onduparaka player and offered money if he agreed to lose against Wakiso Giants. The caller wanted the unnamed player to organise a group of five players, including the goalkeeper and fix that match at a price.
In previous match-fixing claims, FUFA ethics committee has handed individuals caught in the act bans. The punished individuals include Bul FC chief executive Salmin Saleh for two years, referee assessor Ndawula Shaban Mawanda for six months, centre referees Ali Kaddu and Ashraf Miiro, one year each.
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