Magogo’s case a thorny terrain

Tuesday October 1 2019

Hunted. Magogo is accused of selling a portion

Hunted. Magogo is accused of selling a portion of the 177 Brazil 2014 World Cup tickets allocated to Uganda to US-based associates. Photo by John Batanudde 

By ANDREW MWANGUHYA

Just 48 hours after embattled Fufa president Moses Magogo started his sabbatical, the man who petitioned Fifa has upped the ante.
Makindye West Member of Parliament Allan Ssewanyana is pushing the Ugandan government to show cause.

After thanking Fifa for coming through, Ssewanyana expressed “dissatisfaction with various organs of government that have failed to pick keen interest in this matter of national interest.

“The Ministry of Education and Sports and criminal prosecutors should update us on which stage their investigations are,” he told journalists at his Makindye office.

“Government’s objective is to fight corruption, but they have taken years without giving us a response.”

Ssewanyana petitioned Fifa in May 2017, accusing Magogo of selling a portion of the 177 Brazil 2014 World Cup tickets allocated to Uganda to US-based associates.

Fifa then tasked Magogo to file his defence and later in September Grace Akullo, head of the Criminal Intelligence and Investigations Directorate, said they started investigations into the matter. There has not been any update since.

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Fifa have now asked Magogo to step aside “for two months” as they conclude in-depth investigations.

Fifa’s terms and conditions ban the transfer or sale of tickets without the organisers’ consent.

Related cases
Former Fifa executive member Ismail Bhamjee was in 2006 exposed by a newspaper for selling tickets for World Cup matches at three times their nominal value.

After events in Germany he was stripped of his post as honorary president of the Botswana FA, plus resigned from Excoms of Fifa, Caf and Cosafa presidency.

Former footballer and pundit Robbie Earle also lost his ITV job in 2010 after securing an astonishing 400 tickets for the tournament with a black market value of at least £2,000 each. He denied wrongdoing.

With cases relating to gifts, where Magogo is also accused of having allegedly received $5000 as part profit for the alleged illegal sale of tickets, the picture looks grim.

African football great Kalusha Bwalya - then a Caf excom member - was in August 2018 banned for accepting a gift, which violated Fifa’s code of ethics.

Bwalya was, however, able to have his two-year ban from all football activities reduced on appeal and fine cut down from $100,000 to $10,090.

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