Tanzania club suspends 'corrupt' players

By Emmanuel MugaBBC News, Dar es Salaam
Erasto Nyoni
Erasto Nyoni

One of Tanzania's top clubs, Azam FC, has suspended three players after accusing them of accepting bribes to lose a league game.

Two of the suspended players - defender Erasto Nyoni and goalkeeper Deogratius Munishi - also play for the national team.

Defender Said Mourad is the third player under investigation.

The Azam board took the decision in the wake of the team's 3-1 defeat to Simba last month - a game that saw the reigning league champions come from behind to win.

"We have presented the case to the TFF [Tanzania Football federation] as well as the country's anti-corruption bureau," Azam said in a statement.

"Since the case is being investigated by competent authorities, we have decided to suspend these players until the probe is concluded," the statement added.

TFF secretary general Angetile Osiah praised Azam for their decision, and appealed to other clubs to follow suit.

"People talk about the existence of corruption in our league but clubs do nothing," said Osiah.

Osiah added that they were shocked by the allegations and promised that the TFF would investigate the case "thoroughly" before taking action.

Nyoni said he was saddened by the allegations, insisting he never did anything wrong.

He said: "I don't have a phone number of any Simba official.

"How could they have contacted me to give me the bribe?

"I'm very sad and I don't understand why they made these bad accusations against me."

Munishi and Mourad were not available for comment but it is believed that they have also denied any wrongdoing.

Nyoni and Munishi have been selected by coach Kim Poulsen for the Cecafa Challenge Cup tournament due to kick off in Kampala.