World football governing body Fifa has cleared embattled Ugandan coach Paul Nkata of all match-fixing allegations.
Nkata, who is on the run, was the man in charge of the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) side Kakamega Homeboyz whose former players were recently banned by Fifa for manipulation matches in Kenya for a profit.
Ugandan international George Mandela was slapped with life time ban by Fifa for match fixing while three Kenyan players received a combined 12 years suspension.
The Kenyan trio of Moses Chikati, Festus Okiring and Festo Omukoto was each handed a four year ban by the Fifa Disciplinary Committee who found them guilty of violating article 69 (1) of the Fifa Disciplinary Code (2017) (unlawfully influencing match results).
The matter got to Fifa after Kakamega Homeboyz chairman Cleophas Shimanyula raised the larm on the “rampant match fixing” allegations by players and match officials, accusing Nkata and his assistant Hamza Kalani, of being part of the cartel.
“Given his central role in the conspiracy, the player George Mandela (of Uganda) has been banned from taking part in any kind of football-related activity at national and international level (administrative, sports or any other) for life,” Fifa said in a statement.
“Moreover, the following individuals (Moses Chikati, Festus Okiring and Festo Omukoto) have been banned from taking part in any kind of football-related activity at national and international level (administrative, sports or any other) for a period of four years,” Fifa said in a statement.
However, Nkata, who just like Mandela escaped to Uganda once the matter was reported to the local authorities in Kenya has been absolved from any blame, according to Ugandan FA.
“Fifa dismisses all charges against Ugandan coach Paul Nkata in the matter they investigated for allegedly getting involved in unlawful influencing of match results in Kenya. The disciplinary proceedings initiated against the coach have also been closed by the world soccer governing body,” said Fifa in a statement seen by SPORTS AFRICA.
This investigation was conducted by FIFA through its Integrity Department with the consent of and in cooperation with the relevant stakeholders and authorities.
Interestingly, though, Nkata, who was accused of receiving cash to influence the outcome of Homeboyz’s matches with Sony Sugar and Mathare United, was engaged by Ugandan Premier League side Mbarara City, even as the investigations were ongoing.
The much-travelled Nkata who worked with Mandela at Tusker, Bandari, Kakamega Homeboyz, remains one of the most successful foreign coaches in the KPL having guided Tusker to a double in 2016 before moving to Bandari the following year.