Kenyan Premier League side Kakamega Homeboyz’ head coach Paul Nkata has gone into hiding after allegations of a match-fixing racket he was involved in emerged. Nkata is alleged to have paid his players on various occasions to lose matches in favour of bets placed in one of the betting companies he is claimed to co-own.
He allegedly left the country yesterday morning for his native Uganda after learning that his schemes had been exposed. Veteran striker Allan Wanga and David Juma are now in charge of the team, who host Bandari at Bukhungu Stadium today. Homeboyz lie 13th in the league standings with nine points from a possible 24. Homeboyz CEO Bernard Shitiabayi yesterday recorded statements from seven players in connection with the expose.
Club’s chairman Cleophas Shimanyula alias Toto said the club management started investigating after the scheme leaked that eight players including first team goalkeeper had allegedly received Sh50,000 each to lose their match against Sony Sugar in Awendo by over four goals. They were to be paid another Sh200,000 if they attained the results but this never materialised as they lost the encounter 2-1.
“During the match, we were shocked when none of the players celebrated our two goals and to make matters worse, one of our defenders scored a classic goal in our own goal,” he added, claiming that Nkata had eight players in his scheme and all were in the first 11. He said together with the team management, they decided to set a trap and pushed two players to accept to join the scheme during our match against Mathare United.
They lost 3-2. The players had been promised Sh300,000 for a loss of over four goals. He said that the club was working to establish the betting company the coach was working for or co-owns. He claimed Nkata was using fellow Ugandan, George Mandela, to execute his secret schemes in the team. Mandela has also gone under.
“These betting companies have destroyed football, which was picking up in the country. We put money in these teams but it’s unfortunate that some coaches can be used to ruin the clubs for personal gains,” he said. “I am calling upon federation president Nick Mwendwa to ensure that NKata is completely banned from coaching any club in Kenyan and the region and action taken against him because match-fixing is a crime,” he added.
KPL CEO Jack Oguda said they would not make a comprehensive statement about the matter since they are yet to get any evidence from the club.
Mwendwa tweeted: “Allegedly a coach caught using his players for match fixing. New frontier in Kenyan footall ! We have to up our game now in ensuring we deal with it. Eish! More updates to come !!