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If referees can sell goals, then you’re looking at a bleak future for African football – Anas

If referees can sell goals, then you’re looking at a bleak future for African football – Anas

CRISTINA ALDEHUELA

AFP

The undercover journalist who filmed football officials accepting bribes said that African football will continue to be held back unless corruption is tackled.

Anas Aremeyaw Anas, the undercover journalist who exposed football officials accepting bribes said on Monday that African football will continue to be held back unless corruption is tackled more vigorously.

Last week, Anas released a documentary showing African football officials, including 77 referees and Ghana’s football chief Kwesi Nyantakyi, allegedly engaging in acts of corruption.

The two-hour film generated widespread uproar, prompting the Ghanaian government to dissolve the country’s FA and forcing Nyantakyi to resign from the top positions he held with Fifa and the Confederation of African Football (Caf).

Adel Range Marwa, a Kenyan World Cup-bound referee who was filmed accepting a cash gift was detached by Fifa from taking part in the competition in Russia.

Bleak future for African football – Anas

In an interview with Reuters in Accra, Anas claimed that African football would have been better but for corruption.

‘I think that we in Africa would have done better at the world (soccer) stage if we had not allowed people to infiltrate the camps of football setting,’ the undercover journalist said.

‘If you had people who will sit down and fix a match and determine what the outcome will be, that is not fair to African football. If referees can sell yellow card, sell red card, sell goals, then you’re looking at a very bleak future of African football.’

He held that on several occasions, unqualified players were put in matches to play because someone was paid.

Not enough fallout

Anas said he expected a much bigger fallout from the documentary across the continent, but that the story is just beginning to unfold.

‘What you have seen in Ghana is a tip of the iceberg. The story is now beginning to unfold and within the next two-three weeks I am sure you’re going to start reading the impact, he stated.

The undercover journalist added that corruption in football was weakening the bonds that the game forges among the people.

‘Football is supposed to be a game that unites Africans despite the political differences ... our hearts and minds are with football and we must not allow corruption to kill that unity,’ Anas uttered.

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