Nzoia coach Omondi denies match fixing claims
Nzoia Sugar FC head coach Collins Omondi has rubbished claims that the team has been fixing its matches in the wake of poor run in the Kenyan Premier League (KPL).
The Millers are currently 15th on the log with only 11 points from 18 matches.
With the current financial crisis at the KPL having not spared Nzoia either, some of the players have allegedly blamed the coach for colluding with some of their teammates to dictate the outcome of matches.
“They brought a well wisher called Wachira who gave conditions before he sponsored the team and top on his list was the head coach (Omondi). He (Wachira) had his hidden intentions, he wanted to fix matches and thus we started conceding cheap goals and all the blame goes to defenders,” one of the players who requested anonymity told Citizen Digital.
“In some of our matches the defenders were allowing the opposing strikers in the danger area without tackling them. We raised our suspicion and it could be due to the financial difficulties in our team but that should not be the case,” another player said.
However, when reached for a comment on the allegations, Omondi refuted the claims stating that his side’s tribulations are solely due to financial difficulty crippling the club.
“We can’t fix matches. I have lost many good players to other teams and we don’t have money to sign quality replacements. You don’t expect a good performance from a polarized team but we hope the situation will improve for us to get back to winning ways,” Omondi said.
At the same time club chairman Yapets Mokua reckons the team is walking on a tight–financial rope thanks to poor health of their sponsors, Nzoia Sugar Company.
“I must congratulate the boys, we don’t have money but they have always given their best on the pitch, we have never fixed any match. Look at all teams being sponsored by Sugar companies in KPL, they are experiencing the same problems, you can’t say Chemelil or Sony were fixing matches too, we just hope that the situation will improve,” said Mokua.
Mokua further revealed that they parted ways with Wachira who wanted to buy the club after his proposal was turned down.
He also opines that lack of accountability is the main problem ailing Kenyan football as he points out rogue officials who squander funds.
“Our football especially in Kenya lacks accountability. Officials who are in charge cannot account for every shilling they are given and that is killing our game because some people are using money meant to run the club for their own benefits,” he added.
With Football Kenya Federation (FKF) elections around the corner, Mokua has urged aspirants to prioritise sponsorship while also calling on county governments to come on board as well.
“I urge anybody who will be elected to govern local football to make haste and look for sponsorship because our clubs cannot survive without funds. It is also sad to see that the County Government of Bungoma is not supporting us yet we are the only team from the county in KPL,” observed Mokua.
Nzoia becomes the third team to be associated with match-fixing allegations after Kakamega Homeboyz and Zoo Kericho FC.
Last year, Kakamega Homeboyz owner Cleophas Shimanyula claimed that a section of his players had been receiving cash inducements from some quarters to influence games.