- Oden Charles Mbaga has been placed on life ban by the world football governing body
- The Tanzanian referee will also pay $200,000 having being accused of collecting bribe to manipulate matches
- Mbaga becomes the second African referee just this year to have been handed such punishment
World football governing body FIFA have handed Oden Charles Mbaga a life ban after being found guilty of accepting illegal payments.
The Tanzanian referee has also been fined a sum of $200,000 by the football body but the details of his bribery allegations were not revealed.
Reuters reported Fifa as saying that Mbaga “accepted bribes to manipulate several national and international matches between 2009 and 2012.”
“The adjudicatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee has found Mr Oden Charles Mbaga, a referee affiliated to the Tanzania Football Federation, guilty of having accepted bribes in violation of the FIFA Code of Ethics.
"And banned him for life from all football-related activities (administrative, sports or any other) at both national and international level.
"Additionally, a fine in the amount of CHF 200,000 has been imposed on Mr Mbaga,” Fifa said in a statement.
The football body further revealed that they have opened investigations on the matter in July 2018.
Meanwhile, Mbaga, while reacting to his ban told Reuters that he was last interviewed by Fifa in 2010.
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"This is a shocking news to me (sic). I don’t know anything about me being banned to participate football activities for life (sic). I really don’t know this.
"I know Fifa was doing an investigation and the last time they came to interview me about the issue was in 2010.
"I told them openly that I don’t know anything about match-fixing and I have never heard anything from them since then."
It is left to be seen if Mbaga will appeal the decision of the football body as he becomes the second African referee to be handed a life ban and fined $200 000 by FIFA this year.
The first match official to have suffered similar penalty was Ibrahim Chaibou from Niger.
Legit.ng earlier reported that Ibrahim Chaibou, Niger referee has been slammed with a life ban for bribery and match-fixing by FIFA on Thursday, January 25.
The world’s football’s governing body, FIFA, also slammed a 177,000 euros (about $226,000) fine on the 52-year-old Chaibou who is also barred from engaging in a football-related activities for life.
“Mr Chaibou has been banned for life from all football-related activities (administrative, sports or any other) at both national and international level,” a statement from FIFA’s independent Ethics Committee read in part.
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