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CAF clears Liberian referee Jerry Yekeh

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The Confederation of African Football (Caf) has cleared Liberian referee Jerry Yekeh from all allegations of corruption.

Yekeh was one of many African match officials secretly filmed by investigative Ghanaian journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas.



He was filmed at the 2017 West African Football Union Nations Cup finals in Ghana however the footage did not explicitly show him receiving money.

The Fifa referee was among several officials provisionally banned in July pending submissions to a Caf disciplinary board.

Caf has now exonerated Yekeh “after a thorough check of the elements presented to them regarding the violation of Caf regulations.”

“The disciplinary board decided that there is not sufficient evidence to implicate the involvement of Mr. Yekeh Jerry regarding the allegations of corruptions made against him,” said Caf secretary-general Amr Fahmy in a letter to Yekeh.

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“Therefore, the disciplinary board decides [that] the provisional suspension of Mr. Yekeh Jerry is lifted and the guiltiness of Mr. Yekeh Jerry over the corruption accusation is not established.”

The Liberia Football Association (LFA) has welcomed Caf’s decision.

“We are so grateful to God that he was able to clear every one of us not just Jerry Yekeh,” said Ebenezer Stanley Konah, LFA director of referees.

“It [Yekeh’s clearance] means that Liberian referees can be trusted. Liberian referees will go places and come back and keep our heads high above the water.”

Caf has already banned a number of match officials after the release of the Anas’s film including a life ban for Kenyan referee, Aden Marwa.

A total of eight Ghanaian referees were also sanctioned by Caf – two for life and six more received 10-year bans.

The Referees Association of Ghana recognised the eight bans by Caf and also recently sanctioned a further 53 match officials – six for life and the remaining 47 for 10 years.

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Crime

Nigeria Football Federation boss Amaju Pinnick under fresh corruption probe

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Several properties belonging to top officials of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), including its president Amaju Pinnick, have been seized in a fresh corruption probe.

The latest investigation and seizures are being carried out by the country’s Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission’s (ICPC).

The ICPC has published a newspaper advertisement about the properties seized – half of which belong to Pinnick.

According to the statement published in the Nigerian papers one of Pinnick’s properties is in London.

It comes amidst wide-ranging claims over how money meant for football development allegedly disappeared.

“We can’t go into further details beyond the fact that many officials of the NFF are under investigation,” ICPC spokesperson, Rasheedat Okoduwa said.

“It’s basically because what they have is in excess of what they have earned.”

The ICPC has also taken control of properties belonging to the NFF second vice-president Shehu Dikko and the general secretary Muhamed Sanusi among others.

Source: BBC

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24 Hours Across Africa

Rwanda ban Burundi,s music star ahead of annual festival

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Burundian musician Jean Pierre Nimbona, popularly known as Kidum, has told the BBC he is confused by Rwanda’s decision to ban him from playing at the upcoming Kigali Jazz Fusion festival.

Kidum is one of Burundi’s biggest music stars and has performed in Rwanda for the past 16 years.

But a police official phoned the musician’s manager to warn that he would only be allowed to make private visits to Rwanda.

“[My manager was told] Kidum is not supposed to perform, tell him to leave. If he comes for private visits fine, but no performances,” the musician told BBC’s Focus on Africa radio programme.

The mayor of Rwanda’s capital said that in this instance permission had not been sought from the authorities for him to perform at the festival in Kigali.

Kidum was a leading peace activist during Burundi’s civil war between 1993 and 2003 and used his songs to call for reconciliation.

The 44-year-old musician said he had never had problems with Rwandan authorities until recently when three of his shows were cancelled at the last minute – including one in December 2018.

That month Burundi had banned Meddy, a musician who is half-Burundian, half-Rwandan, from performing in the main city of Bujumbura.

Kidum said he was unsure if the diplomatic tensions between Burundi and Rwanda had influenced his ban.

“I don’t know, I don’t have any evidence about that. And if there was politics, I’m not a player in politics, I’m just a freelance musician based in Nairobi,” he said.

He said he would not challenge the ban: “There’s nothing I can do, I just wait until maybe the decision is changed some day.

“It’s similar to a family house and you are denied entry… so you just have to wait maybe until the head of the family decides otherwise.”

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