Banned referee alleges witch-hunt, challenges FUFA to substantiate match-fixing claim

Deogratius Opiyo officiates a previous match at Wankulukuku.

FOOTBALL Banned referee alleges witch-hunt, challenges FUFA to substantiate match-fixing claim

Fred Mwambu 04:08 - 30.08.2023

Deogratius Opio is not content with the manner in which FUFA banned him for ten years after finding him guilty of match-fixing.

Banned referee Deogratius Opio has come out strongly to demand the federation to substantiate their claims that he was the main culprit in a match-fixing claim.

Opio was banned with five others for violating sections of the FUFA Ethics and Disciplinary Code regarding match manipulation and the duty to report such cases.

The referee has revealed that the issue arose from a FUFA Big League game he attended at Bombo Barracks between Ndejje University and Northern Gateway, which ended with the former winning 5-0.

“Among the things they wrote was mainly the issue of the game between Ndejje University and Northern Gateway, which was played at Bombo Military Barracks,” Opio told Swift Sports.

Northern Gateway’s goalkeeper Franco Oringa was handed a five-year ban because of the same match.

Curiosity killed the cat

Opio narrated that he arrived at the stadium "a bit late" and was concerned about why the referees had not pulled out for the mandatory pre-match warm-ups, prompting him to inquire from the horse’s mouth.

However, he claims that was the beginning of the problems that ended his career.

“I went and found only one Referee that I know, and that’s Tina [Nakibombo]; the rest are referees that I don’t know. So, I greeted them and asked them the time they were going to warm up, and they told me they were going to start warm up. I didn’t even take long in the dressing room, and we all left together.”

Opio was either making a genuine inquiry or was just dishonest, but little did he know that he was dipping his finger in the honey jar.

“I was surprised with this letter from FUFA that in their investigations, they discovered that Tina reported that I gave her money before the game and that was said by Tina herself,” he reveals further.

The referee is challenging FUFA to lay the evidence bare to prove their actions.

“Somebody might have promised her something big because that kind of a lie is not a cheap lie. So, if FUFA has evidence, let them come up with it other than using Tina’s lie,” he calls.

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