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Moghreb Tétouan deny bribery allegations, claim conspiracy
The Moroccan club vice-president along with two other officials were arrested for allegedly trying to bribe match officials in the Democratic Republic of the Congo prior to the team’s match against TP Mazembe, the final fixture of the CAF Confederation Cup Group stages.
According to Congolese media, the three Moghreb Tetouan officials, who were later released, were residents at the Karavia Hotel, but they went to Gloria hotel where the referees where staying.
Youssef Yazidi, the team’s marketing manager presented himself to the hotel’s receptionists as a FIFA member, according to media reports. He was reportedly accompanied by the club’s vice president Ridwan Al Guazi, while Karim Chou remained in his car.
They allegedly asked referees to have dinner with them, and when they were about to leave the hotel, security prevented the trio from leaving, according to Congolese media reports.
In response to the incident, Moghreb Tétouan released a statement on their official website describing what happened as a “conspiracy”.
“The three Moghreb Tetouan committee members were invited to Gloria hotel by one of TP Mazembe’s officials who asked them to come urgently to adjust a couple of things in the partnership agreement between the two clubs, which should’ve been signed by the presidents of both clubs before the game. This was a pre-set trap,” the statement read.
The statement added that reporters, security and police seemed to be strategically positioned around and within the building when the Moghreb officials arrived and attempted to leave the hotel.
The statement also claimed that TP Mazembe agreed to send a car to pick up the committee members and bring them to finalise the paperwork. However, the statement said the car broke down before it arrived.
“Our Committee members would’ve never thought of going to the hotel before the invitation sent by the TP Mazembe’s official,” the statement read, adding that the officials would not have been questioned had they not come in their own private car instead of a car registered in TP Mazembe’s name.
Moghreb Tétouan were knocked out of the CAF Confederation Cup after their 5-0 loss against TP Mazembe in the final group stage match on Sunday.