A World Cup-bound referee and a member of the FIFA Council have been accused of accepting cash gifts by an undercover investigation into African football, BBC Sport reports.
Kenya’s Adel Marwa, one of Africa’s World Cup-bound referees, will no longer be in Russia after being filmed receiving a $600 ‘gift’.
Marwa was given money by an undercover reporter posing as an official of a top Ghanaian football side.
Ghana’s FIFA Council member Kwesi Nyantakyi, the second most powerful man in African football, was also caught up in a separate sting operation.
The investigation by controversial journalist Anas Anas has raised serious questions about the nature of the continent’s favourite game.
BBC Africa Eye has had exclusive access to dozens of hours of Anas’s footage for its latest film.
Nyantakyi was pictured placing $65,000 “shopping money” into a plastic bag from an undercover reporter pretending to be a businessman keen to invest in Ghanaian football.
He later agreed a sponsorship deal, invented by the reporters, which could have enabled millions of dollars supposedly destined for the Ghana FA, which he has presided over since 2005, to be diverted to one of his own companies.
Marwa, the sole Kenyan among the 16 African officials designated for Russia, has resigned his position, says FIFA.
Despite FIFA rules expressly forbidding officials from receiving gifts that create a conflict of interest, and outlawing the taking of any cash gift, over one hundred were caught doing so by Anas’ team.
“Thank you for the gift, but you know, the most important is our friendship, getting to know each other,” the Kenyan, 41, said after accepting the money.
He had met the undercover reporter for the first time just minutes earlier.
In response to the allegations, Marwa has denied any wrongdoing.
FIFA said it has asked its investigatory and judicial bodies to follow up on the claims raised by the documentary.
“Please be informed that the assistant referee Adel Range Marwa has informed FIFA that he resigns from his role as assistant referee at the upcoming World Cup,” the organisation said in a statement.