The government is undertaking a comprehensive review of the National Sports Policy as a precursor to drafting legislation to govern the industry.
Youth, Sports, Culture and the Arts PS Jonathan Mueke, speaking Tuesday during a meeting by the National Assembly Committee for Sports and Culture said there was need to streamline things in the sports industry and to have in place regulations that would have things done the way it should be, but under a defined legislation.
“We want to do it right, we put in place the Policy, then draft legislation,” said Mueke.
The Chair of the Sports Committee, Dan Wanyama, committed to delivering legislation that will criminalize match-fixing in Kenya.
“We have heard you, we will help put in place legislation to criminalize match-fixing so that those who engage in this vice can be charged and arrested in a court of law,” the Chair assured.
The Football Kenya Federation had asked the National Assembly to urgently enact a law to criminalize match-fixing.
FKF President, Nick Mwendwa, told the lawmakers that match-fixing was a serious threat to the game.
“When football is manipulated, it ruins the authenticity of the game which drives fans away. If you look at it this way, it is clear that match-fixing is a massive threat to football, as a sport and an industry,” he explained.
The FKF President urged the lawmakers to act swiftly to protect the game.
“The Federation can only take action against match-fixers who are our members, but this is not enough. We need to have people arrested and punished so we can end this vice. Today if we take a match-fixer to the police station, there is no law to charge these individuals. We are asking you to help us close this gap,” said Mwendwa.
FKF revealed that match-fixing is mostly run by syndicates operating mostly out of Asia, who approach players and match officials to manipulate games.
The Federation has suspended 25 individuals comprising seven match officials and eighteen players so far.
“The vice took root in our leagues between November 2021 and October 2022, when FKF was suspended. Match fixers took advantage of the fact that there was no regulator with the expertise to detect and track what was happening,” FKF President said.
Other Members of the Committee who attended the session included Naomi Waqo (Marsabit), Catherine Osanyo (Busia), Dr. Jackson Kosgey (Nominated), Mary Emaase (Teso South), Charles Nguna (Mwingi West) and Gonzi Rai (Kinango).
By Joseph Ng’ang’a