CAF launches its own Rwanda bribery investigation

Regis Francois Uwayezu of the Rwanda Football Federation Rwanda Football Federation

The Confederation of African Football has opened its own investigation into the allegations of bribery by Rwandan officials, on top of the police investigation already underway.

FERWAFA Secretary General François Régis Uwayezu and Commissioner for Competitions Eric Ruhamiriza were alleged to have tried to bribe match officials ahead of the 2019 AFCON qualifier against Ivory Coast on September 9th in Kigali.

Namibian referee Jackson Pavaza alleged after the game that the two Rwandan officials attempted to bribe him ahead of the match, which the Ivorians eventually won 2-1.

Souleiman Hassan Waberi, CAF referees Committee chairman and member of the CAF executive, confirmed that an investigation into the matter has been launched.

"We have already started investigating the matter and want it complete within October this year," Waberi told KweséESPN in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.

The Rwanda Football Federation (FERWAFA) has denied the allegation, saying that it was simply a mis-communication between them and the match officials about how much should be paid for extra expenses.

"It was a very bad incident for us because it gives a very bad image. CAF has opened investigation on the Rwanda officials. CAF wrote to us last week indicating that investigations have started and they will inform us of the outcome," Jean Damascène Sekamana, FERWAFA president, told KweséESPN on Monday.

"We are also investigating the matter at FERWAFA and Courts of law in Rwanda are also handling the issue. I think the matter will be sorted because we think it was a case of misinterpretation by the referee from Namibia."

The two officials, who had been in detention since September 12th when they were arrested by the Rwanda Investigations Bureau (RIB), were released on bail last Monday by the Nyarugenge Intermediate Level Court.

"We have allowed the two officials to return to work at FERWAFA because they have not yet been found guilty of anything," Sekamana added.