FUFA Imposes 10-Year Ban on Referee George Nkurunziza for Match-Fixing

George ‘Brown’ Nkurunziza. PHOTO/COURTESY

The Federation of Ugandan Football Associations (FUFA) has administered a ten-year suspension to referee George Nkurunziza following his conviction for engaging in match-fixing.

The announcement arrived from the FUFA Ethics and Disciplinary Committee on Friday, which disclosed that Nkurunziza George had been deemed culpable of transgressing Article 41 (Manipulation of football matches or competitions or match statistics), Article 24(3) (General Duties), and Article 42 (Failure to report) of the FUFA Ethics and Disciplinary Code.

In an official statement, FUFA stated, “The Committee meticulously examined the evidence at hand, in conjunction with the defense presented by Mr. Nkurunziza, ultimately concluding that he had played a role in manipulating match outcomes for the purpose of illicit betting, in direct violation of the FUFA Ethics and Disciplinary Code.”

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Consequently, FUFA has decreed, “Nkurunziza George is hereby barred from engaging in any form of football-related undertaking on the national level—be it administrative, sporting, or otherwise—for a duration of ten (10) years, commencing from the date of this ruling.”

FUFA clarified that Nkurunziza retains the right to appeal, albeit limited to contesting the basis of the verdict rather than the verdict itself.

Last year, Nkurunziza, along with six players and two fellow referees, was placed under suspension by FUFA.

Notably, in the previous year, referee John Bosco Kalibala faced a 15-year prohibition from participating in any national-level football-related pursuits due to his involvement in match-fixing.

Furthermore, in March 2022, FUFA took action against former Police FC marketing and sales manager Abraham Luzzi, local football coach James Kaweesa, and sports journalist David Isabirye, preventing their engagement in both national and international football activities due to their implication in match-fixing.

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April 2021 witnessed the indefinite suspension of three players—goalkeeper Joel Mutakubwa, defender Julius Ntambi, and team captain Mustafa Mujjuzi—from former Uganda Premier League outfit Kyetume FC. Their suspension was prompted by allegations of match-fixing following the team’s loss to Kitara FC.

In December 2021, Ali Sekatawa, erstwhile patron of Nyamityobora FC, tendered his resignation amidst accusations of match-fixing and sports betting. Sekatawa’s resignation letter lamented the pervasive influence of match-fixing and sports betting on Ugandan football, even penetrating the upper echelons of the country’s premier leagues.

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