The local football governing body, Ferwafa, has played down allegations that Namibian referee Jackson Pavaza was tempted with a bribe to manipulate the result of the 2019 Afcon qualifier between Rwanda and Ivory Coast played at Kigali Stadium on Sunday.
The FIFA and CAF match official, Pavaza, was in charge of the game and assisted by compatriots David Shaanika, Shoovaleka Nehemia and Matheus Kanyanga.
According to media reports from Namibia, Pavaza raised the bribery allegations on Tuesday.
Talking to Times Sport yesterday, Ferwafa Secretary General, Francois Regis Uwayezu, dismissed the allegations before insisting that “Ferwafa can never and will never be indulged in any form of corruption – which jeopardizes the integrity and professionalism of the game.”
The four Namibian match officials were paid USD 247 as extra expenses incurred by the quartet as mandated by article 36 & 37 of the 2019 CAF Africa Cup of Nations Qualifying Regulations.
However, Pavaza claimed that there were other extra bills to be reimbursed, which allegedly had been incurred on their flight to Kigali.
Uwayezu explained to this publication that after Saturday’s Ferwafa Ordinary General Assembly – which ended around midnight, Ferwafa’s Commissioner of Competitions, Eric Ruhamiriza, was informed by Pavaza verbally and through a WhatsApp message about the remaining unpaid extra receipts amounting to USD 237 on Sunday morning.
Ruhamiriza thought this amount of money was for each referee.
Ruhamiriza along with Uwayezu prepared a total of USD 948 to be shared among the four officials with each set to be reimbursed USD 237. The two FERWAFA officials went to Hotel des Mille Collines to meet the referees, at 11AM CAT, with the money as had been requested.
It was at this moment that Pavaza informed the two officials that the money which was requested for the extra expenses amounted to a total of USD 237, not USD 948 as Ferwafa thought.
Pavaza, Namibia’s 2016 Referee of Year, was advised to proceed with his preparations for the match and then payment of the agreed USD 237 would be done after the game since the two Ferwafa officials had no changed money equivalent to USD 237 as demanded.
Pavaza agreed he would receive the payment after the game.
Prior to departing the hotel for Kigali International Airport on Sunday night, Pavaza was given and signed the receipt of USD 237 in presence of match commissioner, Ugandan, Mike Letti.
“What really happened was misunderstanding on the exact amount of money that was demanded by Pavaza in his initial communication to Ruhamiriza, which should not be taken as any form of bribery as alleged by the referee,” said Uwayezu.
The game ended 2-1 in favor of Ivory Coast.