Zimbabwean referee Norman Matemera rejected a $10,000 bribe from Equatorial Guinea’s Desportivo Niefang to fix the CAF Confederation Cup return Match against Cote d’Ivoire’s Williamsville Athletic Club.
Despite winning the match that was played on 18th April 2018 in Bata, Equatorial Guinea 2-1, Niefang bowed out on 2-3 aggregate to the visitors.
The bribery attempt occurred on the eve of the game as officials of the home side, working in collaboration with Togolese match Commissioner Lwason Mahuwe as their emissary, tried to offer Matemera and his assistants Brighton Nyika, Salina Ncube and Pilan Ncube a cash bribe of $10,000.
The intention was to influence the officials to aid Neifang to overturn a 2-0 first leg deficit and help them advance to the lucrative group stage of the secondary Africa interclub championships.
Motemera and co, however, turned down the tempting offer and instead reported the incident to the CAF.
His bold action was hailed by the Zimbabwe FA Referees Committee vice-chairman, Gladmore Muzambi.
“We are saying to our international referees, and indeed the local ones, we must always uphold the integrity tenets which entails recognizing, resisting and reporting any attempts of match manipulation.
“You must recognize that there are attempts to fix a match, you must resist those attempts. In this regard we feel proud that our referees did just that.
“It is quite unfortunate that in this case it involved a match commissioner and it is a situation which makes you wonder who is going to guard the guard when those entrusted to guard are the guilty ones because the commissioner was the one being used as the go-between in the home team’s bribery attempts,” Muzambi told HERALD.CO.ZW.
This latest revelation becomes the second after South African officials led by referee Victor Gomes turned down $30,000 bribe to the Confederation Cup playoffs first leg match between Nigeria’s Plateau United and USM Algers in the same month.
CAF has, however, not issued any statement over the two incidents.