As the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and stakeholders continue to seek solutions to alleged high rate of match-fixing in the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL), the federation has disclosed its moves to partner with the Department of State Security (DSS) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to monitor the illegal transfer of money between football referees.The NFF president, Amaju Pinnick had earlier decried the role of the referees in the league, threatening that the federation will clamp down on referees who he alleged are pulling down the efforts of the NFF and LMC to transform the league.
It has been alleged that clubs always have illegal bank dealings with match referees in order to influence results to their favourite games.
NFF integrity officer, Christian Emeruwa, disclosed that the federation has secured a partnership with the Department of State Services (DSS), the Nigeria Police, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences (ICPC) to prosecute any official allegedly involved in any form of match manipulation.
Emeruwa also revealed that while the federation will pursue the sporting sanctions, the security agencies would handle the criminal and corruption investigations proper and prosecute any official found culpable.
“The NFF Integrity Unit has commenced processes through which we are getting into partnership with other security agencies for the sole purpose of assisting us in carrying out criminal investigations against possible and potential culprits that may be found guilty of football match manipulations.”
“The idea is very simple, while we are looking at the sporting sanction from the side of the NFF; the various security agencies will handle the criminal and corruption investigations proper. You know that the federation does not have the capacity and powers to investigate account transactions, trail telephone conversations and SMS exchanges."-The Authority