Ref reveals Mazembe brown envelope

CAF Champions League

TP Mazembe president Moise Katumbi has been accused of attempting to bribe referees in the CAF Champions League.

The five-time African Champions League winners have developed considerably since the arrival of Katumbi as club president in 1997 as he revived their status as African giants after nearly two decades without continental football.

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Katumbi has led the Ravens to a bright new era of their illustrious history with 13 Linafoot titles and three Champions League triumphs, but he's now facing serious allegations of bribery.

Former Egyptian international referee Yasser Abdel Raouf claimed on Al-Nahar on Tuesday that he was banned from the competition for eight months after reporting that Katumbi attempted to pay him to throw a game.

Speaking to Egypt legend Ahmed Hossam Mido on the television show, Raouf revealed he was approached by Katumbi with an offer of $10 000 ahead of their game against Simba SC in 2011.

"We sat with the president of the Mazembe club in his office," he said on the TV show, as per AFHQ.

"He offered us a bribe under the pretext that all the referees take these gifts. We refused to receive them and asked if we wanted extra money, and we refused completely."

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The experienced official went on to claim they received death threats if the matter was reported to CAF and were only able to submit the matter once they returned to Cairo.

Article 24 of the CAF Champions League regulations stipulate that if CAF is informed, no matter what the source may be, that a fraud infringing the sporting morality was committed by one of the teams, an enquiry shall be undertaken.  

In the case that the assertion is proved, the guilty team can face suspension of up to three years from all CAF competitions – but no action has been taken against the accused since the alleged events took place nearly a decade ago.

Katumbi, who was the governor of the Katanga province in DR Congo at the time, was also accused of bribing Baroka FC and Zimbabwe goalkeeper Elvis Chipezeze at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

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