FIFA bans referee from Tanzania for life for taking bribes

Published Feb. 26, 2019 9:36 a.m. ET

ZURICH (AP) — FIFA says its ethics committee imposed a life ban on referee Oden Charles Mbaga of Tanzania for taking bribes.

FIFA says Mbaga was also fined 200,000 Swiss francs ($200,000). It is unclear how FIFA can enforce fines for unethical behavior.

Without giving details of the bribery, FIFA says Mbaga breached the 2009 version of its code of ethics though the investigation was opened only in July last year.

Mbaga has reportedly been linked to match-fixer Wilson Perumal of Singapore, who was involved in providing referees to corrupt international friendly games for betting scams.

Perumal's schemes included fixing warmup games for South Africa before it hosted the 2010 World Cup.

Mbaga had been on FIFA's international list of referees approved to handle national team games.