Footage from a documentary on corruption in African soccer, shared exclusively with the BBC, shows World Cup assistant referee Adel Range Marwa accepting a $600 gift from an undercover journalist posing as a Ghanaian soccer official. Marwa, the only referee from Kenya set to participate in the World Cup, has resigned his position.
The footage doesn’t actually show Marwa accepting the cash in exchange for assurances about game tampering, but FIFA rules prohibit officials from accepting gifts or other benefits. Posing as a soccer official from Ghana’s FA, journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas gave the money to Marwa in a hotel room during the Africa Cup of Nations.
“Thank you for the gift, but you know the most important (thing) is friendship, getting to know each other,” Marwa says on the tape.
All told, Anas filmed more than 100 referees and other officials taking money, many of whom were Ghanian, including Ghana FA president Kwesi Nyantakyi, who accepted a $65,000 bribe from a phony sponsor. Since this footage has become public, the government of Ghana has announced that they will dissolve the FA “until a new body is formed.”
Marwa—who is Kenyan, not Ghanian—was the only person caught who was scheduled to work the World Cup. And adding insult to injury, Marwa settled for $600 when he could have earned upwards of $25,000 just for doing his job in Russia.