Kenyan World Cup referee resigns after accepting $600 fake bribe from undercover journalist

An assistant referee slated to work the upcoming World Cup has resigned from his position after an undercover BBC journalist posing as a Ghanian soccer official offered him $600, and caught him on camera accepting the money.

BBC released a long-awaited documentary on corruption in African soccer Thursday morning, and this particular case was one of over 100 referees caught accepting money.

While the documentary does not explicitly show the referee in question, Adel Range Marwa, accepting the money in exchange for tampering with a match, referees are not allowed to accept gifts per FIFA rules. Anas Aremeyaw Anas, the journalist conducting the investigation, approached Marwa during the Africa Cup of Nations.

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A monitor displays group A during the 2018 FIFA World Cup football tournament final draw at the State Kremlin Palace in Moscow on December 1, 2017. The 2018 FIFA World Cup will be held from June 14 and July 15, 2018, in 11 Russian cities. / AFP PHOTO / Mladen ANTONOV (Photo credit should read MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)
A monitor displays group B during the 2018 FIFA World Cup football tournament final draw at the State Kremlin Palace in Moscow on December 1, 2017. The 2018 FIFA World Cup will be held from June 14 and July 15, 2018, in 11 Russian cities. / AFP PHOTO / Mladen ANTONOV (Photo credit should read MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)
A monitor displays group C during the 2018 FIFA World Cup football tournament final draw at the State Kremlin Palace in Moscow on December 1, 2017. The 2018 FIFA World Cup will be held from June 14 and July 15, 2018, in 11 Russian cities. / AFP PHOTO / Mladen ANTONOV (Photo credit should read MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)
A monitor displays group D during the 2018 FIFA World Cup football tournament final draw at the State Kremlin Palace in Moscow on December 1, 2017. The 2018 FIFA World Cup will be held from June 14 and July 15, 2018, in 11 Russian cities. / AFP PHOTO / Mladen ANTONOV (Photo credit should read MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)
A monitor displays group E during the 2018 FIFA World Cup football tournament final draw at the State Kremlin Palace in Moscow on December 1, 2017. The 2018 FIFA World Cup will be held from June 14 and July 15, 2018, in 11 Russian cities. / AFP PHOTO / Mladen ANTONOV (Photo credit should read MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)
A monitor displays group F during the 2018 FIFA World Cup football tournament final draw at the State Kremlin Palace in Moscow on December 1, 2017. The 2018 FIFA World Cup will be held from June 14 and July 15, 2018, in 11 Russian cities. / AFP PHOTO / Mladen ANTONOV (Photo credit should read MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)
A monitor displays group G during the 2018 FIFA World Cup football tournament final draw at the State Kremlin Palace in Moscow on December 1, 2017. The 2018 FIFA World Cup will be held from June 14 and July 15, 2018, in 11 Russian cities. / AFP PHOTO / Mladen ANTONOV (Photo credit should read MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)
A monitor displays group H during the 2018 FIFA World Cup football tournament final draw at the State Kremlin Palace in Moscow on December 1, 2017. The 2018 FIFA World Cup will be held from June 14 and July 15, 2018, in 11 Russian cities. / AFP PHOTO / Mladen ANTONOV (Photo credit should read MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)
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Suspect journalistic practice?

Marwa, the only Kenyan referee appointed to officiate this year, resigned shortly after the documentary went public. A handful of people have emerged in support of Marwa, questioning the pretenses under which the fake bribe was made, and noting that it does not make sense that he would have accepted just $600 knowing he would make at least $25,000 for his work as a referee this month.

Larger repercussions for GFA

Among the others caught in the documentary was Ghana Football Association President Kwesi Nyantakyi, who was filmed accepting a fake $65,000 bribe. Since this discovery, Ghanian government has dissolved the GFA. 

The Ghanian government will take steps to organize an improved governing body for the sport in the long term, and in the meantime, will put temporary systems in place.

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