KIGALI, Sept. 14 — Two officials of the Rwanda Football Federation (FERWAFA) have been detained over alleged bribery of CAF referee Jackson Pavaza to manipulate the result of the 2019 AFCON qualifier match between Rwanda and Cote d’Ivoire played at Kigali regional stadium last Sunday, the Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) said Thursday.
The spokesman of the bureau, Modeste Mbabazi told media in Kigali that the arrested are FERWAFA Secretary General Francois Regis Uwayezu and Commissioner of Competitions Eric Ruhamiriza.
The arrests came days after Pavaza made the bribery claims, alleging that the money (whose figure he couldn’t ascertain according to Namibian media) was sealed in an envelope.
Pavaza was in charge of the match, while three other Namibian officials, David Shaanika, Shoovaleka Nehemia and Matheus Kanyanga, were his assistants.
The match ended 2-1 in favor of Cote d’Ivoire.
But in a statement on Wednesday, FERWAFA had refuted the bribery claims as shocking.
The federation said in the process of reimbursement, extra money was given due to miscommunication when Pavaza notified Eric Ruhamiriza that there were extra expenses incurred by the four match officials on their flight to Kigali which amounted to 237 US dollars.
Ruhamiriza thought this amount of money was for each official – that is how a total of 948 dollars was issued, the federation explained.
“What really happened was miscommunication on the exact amount of money that was demanded by Pavaza in his initial communication to Mr. Ruhamiriza which should not be taken as form of bribery as alleged,” the statement said.
It added that with extensive knowledge of CAF regulations, FERWAFA can never and will never be indulged in any form of corruption that goes along the way in jeopardizing the high level of integrity and professionalism of the game.