Disgraced former Harambee Stars defender George Owino Audi says he intends to appeal the 10-year ban from all football activities that world governing body Fifa hit him with on Wednesday.
Speaking to local media on phone from Portugal Wednesday evening, Owino’s lawyer Felix Majani confirmed he has already lodged an appeal against the ruling to FIFA appeals committee in Zurich.
He also stated that he was in the process of filing a separate appeal to apply for a measure that stops the execution of the ban so as to enable the 37-year former footballer to continue working at a Nairobi-based football academy.
Majani did not clarify whether his appeal is aimed at shortening the length of the ban or showing that his client is innocent of all the allegations levelled against him.
Majani’s rebuttal came hours after Fifa slapped the former Mathare United defender with a 10-year ban from all football activities after an ‘extensive investigation’ found him guilty of manipulating the outcome of football matches for betting purposes.
Owino, whom Nation Sport exclusively called out in an exclusive expose in February, was officially informed of the punishment Wednesday morning.
He has also been fined an equivalent of Sh1.5 million (CHF 15, 000).
“The formal disciplinary proceedings into the aforementioned individuals stemmed from an extensive investigation into various international matches that (match agent) Mr Wilson Raj Perumal attempted to manipulate for betting purposes,” The Fifa statement read in part.
The ban prohibits him from coaching or getting involved in managing football at an administrative level.
Fifa has claimed Owino, through 177 e-mail communications exchanged between him and Perumal, conspired to manipulate and influence the result of international matches involving the Kenya national football team.
Perumal thus used Owino to identify several Harambee Stars players for the task in which unspecified amount of money exchanged money between 2009 and 2011.
To sweeten the deal, Perujmal – who has already been sentenced to prison in Finland and Hungary over these offences – offered Owino lucrative opportunities to play in Australia.
Fifa also announced that nine other footballers from Benin, Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone, Malawi and Trinidad and Tobago had been banned for life.