Football and Futsal referee Emmanuel Kiweewa has scoffed at the manner in which the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) through its Ethics Committee instituted a five-year ban against him before being handed a fair trial.
The FUFA on Thursday 24th January 2020 announced that Emmanuel Kiweewa had been found guilty of ‘soliciting undue financial advantage in an effort to influence match results of the game between Uganda Martyrs University and St. Lawrence University contrary to the FUFA Ethics Code’.
In October 2019, investigations into an incident in which the football and futsal referee was recorded in a telephone conversation with Uganda Martyrs University head coach Noah Mugerwa, ‘reportedly’ soliciting for a bribe to influence the result of the semifinal game between Uganda Martyrs University and St Lawrence University in October 2017.
The aforementioned game ended in a 1-all draw after 90 minutes before St. Lawrence progressed to the final after penalty kicks.
Part of the statement released by the FUFA today read;
The Committee found Kiweewa guilty of soliciting undue financial advantage in an effort to influence match results of the game between Uganda Martyrs University and St. Lawrence University contrary to the FUFA Ethics Code.
The FUFA Ethics Committee noted that this decision was taken after concluding investigations into the matter reported by the FUFA Referees Standings Committee (FRSC) in October.
However, Kiweewa says he was not given a fair trial and was judged in his judgement was passed in absentia.
I was called once and I clearly denied having taken any bribe from Noah and there was nothing more.
After a few days, was against called with coach Noah (Mugerwa) and during the hearing, he could not commit that he gave me any bribe when asked.
On that day, I did not say a word because the state I was would not let me defend myself in the right manner. I also learnt about the ban from a journalist who called me to find out what I had to say about it.
Emmanuel Kiweewa has been one of the fastest-growing referees in Ugandan Football and Futsal and has been in charge of a number of games.
He was involved in another controversial match in the StarTimes Uganda Premier League between KCCA FC and Bright Stars FC, during which it is alleged he disallowed Bright Stars’ goal after the ball went through the net.
Asked if he would appeal the decision, Kiweewa said;
I am not willing to appeal against that decision. It is obvious the powers that be had a hidden agenda.
The game was live and all observers did not see any questionable refeering decisions. Why was there no review of the game?
Besides, why did Noah file the petition after losing the game?
The last time the Federation instituted a five year ban to a match official was against Samuel Kakembo who was the second assistant referee during the game between Express FC and Vipers when a controversial goal that Vipers had scored against Express FC at Wankulukuku was let to stand.
However, after a successful appeal against the decision, his ban was reduced to just one-year and a demotion to the lower leagues.
Now that he is not willing to contest the ban, Could this be the end of Emmanuel Kiweewa’s refereeing career?