Rwanda Football Federation (FERWAFA) has denied any wrongdoing after CAF Referee Jackson Pavaza claimed to have been offered a bribe to manipulate the 2019 AFCON Qualifier between Rwanda and Cote d’Ivoire staged on September 9, 2018 at Stade de Kigali.
Pavaza was in charge, while three other Namibian officials, David Shaanika, Shoovaleka Nehemia and Matheus Kanyanga, were his assistants. The match ended 2-1 in favour of Ivory Coast.
According to Namibiansun.com, Pavaza is reported to have said before the match started that he was approached by two FERWAFA Officials namely General Secretary Francois Regis Uwayezu and Competitions Commissioner Eric Ruhamiriza who offered him a “brown envelope” in order to manipulate the outcome of the clash.
“The money was in an envelope. I did not try to count it or see how much it was. I just told them that I do not accept any gifts from anyone, as per CAF regulations. I rejected it and reported the matter to CAF,” Pavaza said.
However, Rwanda Football Federation (FERWAFA) has denied the allegations made by the CAF Referee Pavaza. They said in a statement this morning, terming the allegations as fabricated lies.
The statement reads, “On Friday, September 7, 2018, after the Match Coordination Meeting held at Rwanda Football Federation, chaired by Match Commissioner Mike Letti from Uganda, the four Namibian match officials were paid $247 as extra expenses incurred by the quartet as confirmed by the Namibian Football Association (NFA) as mandated by article 36 & 37 of the CAF Interclubs Regulations.
However, the referees claimed that there were other extras that were incurred on their flight to Kigali which needed to be paid also,” “On Saturday, September 8, 2018, Rwanda Football Federation (FERWAFA) Management spent the whole day in an Ordinary General Assembly held at Hotel des Milles Collines.
The operations of the General Assembly ended later at midnight when FERWAFA Commissioner of Competitions Eric Ruhamiriza was informed by Referee Pavaza verbally and through a whatsup message of the remaining unpaid extras receipts amounting to $237 on Sunday, 9/9/2018.
(Ruhamiriza thought this amount of money was for each referee),” “On Sunday, September, 9, 2018, Ruhamiriza alongside General Secretary Francois Regis Uwayezu prepared a total of $948 to be shared among the four officials with each set to be reimbursed $237 and alongside Competitions Commissioner Eric Ruhamiriza, the two FERWAFA officials went to Hotel des Milles Collines on Sunday morning, met the referees in open public at 11am, at the terraces of the hotel, gave them their extras as they had requested.”
It further reads, “It was at this moment that Pavaza brought to the attention of FERWAFA officials that the money which was requested for the extra expenses incurred amounted to a total of $237 not a $948 as FERWAFA had prepared,” “The FERWAFA Officials advised Pavaza to proceed with his preparations of officiating the match whose kick-off was at 15:30 at Stade de Kigali and then payment of the agreed $237 would be done after the game since the two FERWAFA officials had no changed money equivalent to $237 as demanded.
Pavaza agreed to have the payment done after the game,” “Upon departing for Kigali International Airport on Sunday night, Pavaza was given and signed the receipt of $237 in presence of match commissioner Mike,” “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 by Namibian referee Pavaza.”
The statement concluded, “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.” The fate of the FERWAFA officials based on the evidence that has since been sent to CAF by the Namibian referee Pavaza will be decided by the African body in the next few days.