Liberian Referee Acquitted of Bribery Claim in Anas’ Video
Monrovia – Liberia FIFA badge referee Jerry Yekeh who was suspended by the Confederation of African Football(CAF) for his alleged involvement in Ghanaian Journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas shocking video of how match officials on the African continent receive bribe to influence the results of matches locally and internationally has been acquitted from all charges by CAF and FIFA.
One of the video footages shows the experienced Liberian referee Yekeh among some referees receiving bribe ahead of the match between Ghana vs Mali in the 2017 WAFU Nation Cup held in Cape Coast, Ghana.
Although Yekeh was not shown receiving money as his colleagues did in the referee room, the Liberian was clearly seen in the video bringing some match materials in the room where the action was taking place and later went behind the scene.
The parent body of African football CAF suspended Yekeh, along with 10 other referees, until August 5 pending their meeting with Disciplinary Board but after proving not guilty Yeke will now start to officiating games in and out of Africa.
The five men disciplinary committee of CAF on September 16 2018 wrote the FIFA badge referee informing him of his innocence in the report that affected over ten referees with some ban from football for life and other suspended for five to six years.
The communication to the Liberian referee said.”After having thoroughly checked the elements presented to hem regarding the violation by Mr. Yekeh Jerry of CAF Regulations, in particular, Arts 826, 15 of the CAF Disciplinary Code.”
“The Disciplinary Board decided that there is no sufficient evidence to implicate the involvement of Mr. Yekeh Jerry regarding the allegation of corruption made against him.”
“Therefore, the Disciplinary Board decides:”
“The provisional suspension of Mr. Yekeh Jerry is lifted.”
‘The guiltiness of Mr. Yekeh Jerry over the corruption accusation is not established.”
Speaking in an exclusive interview with FrontPage Africa, Yekeh expressed joy that his name has been cleared from such allegation against him which shows that he was wrongly accused.
“I am very happy that both CAF and FIFA have cleared my name from what I did not do and such clarification shows that I was never part of any match-fixing or corruption scandal that occurred during the 2017 West African Football Union (WAFU) tournament in Ghana.”
“I am also pleased to say thank you to my fellow LIFRA members and the rest of my friends who stood by me when I was undergoing CAF and FIFA investigation on the match-fixing allegation leveled thank God all is over and I can now go on without fear of bad name,” Yekeh said.
The Experience referee said he ca n’t wait to get in the center of the pitch because it has been difficult for him staying away from football for months.
Following Yekeh provisional suspension the Liberia Football Referee Association (LFRA) announced that the decision from CAF was going to be upheld and did so preventing Yekeh from officiating games in the national league.
Speaking to FrontPage Africa, the Director of Referees at the Liberia Football Association, Ebenezer Konah, said they accept the decision from CAF.
“On Saturday, we received the communication from CAF banning and suspending some referees from Africa, unfortunately, our referee Jerry Yekeh was mentioned in that document.”
“The LFA upholds that suspension on Jerry Yekeh. He remains suspended until he meets the disciplinary board of CAF and clears his name. Jerry will not participate in anything that has to do with referee or football in Liberia until the investigation is clear and CAF can come out with their findings,” Konnah said.
But in an interview with FrontPage Africa after the news of Yekeh freedom, Konnah said the news of Yekeh been cleared by CAF is welcoming because he is one of the most experience Liberia is depending on.
“Jerry has to make Liberia proud that he was not guilty so it is good for our image that our man is clear.”
“It was painful to see our referee name been mention in such report but all is over now and he is a free man.”The referee director said.
According to Konnah who is also a former international referee Yekeh will start officiating matches in the national league this Wednesday, September 19, 2018.
He said Yekeh return to the Liberian league is a boost for young referees and the players but caution referees to desist from corruption.
“We condemn the action of accepting money by referees to fix matches,” Ebenezer Konnah added.