Match-fixing: Zifa promises punishment

ZIFA board members implicated in the match fixing scandal rocking Zimbabwean  football will be sweating over their jobs this weekend as both the association and its assembly meet to deliberate on the issue and come up with a position.

Zifa president Cuthbert Dube promised at a press conference yesterday that those found guilty will be dismissed.
“When the whole process is finished all those members that are implicated will have to leave the board,” said Dube.
Board members who include Methembe Ndlovu (junior development) and Kenny Marange (vice-president) have been implicated in a report by an investigation committee headed by Zifa vice-president Ndumiso Gumede.
The report also implicates, among others, coaches Sunday Chidzambwa, Norman Mapeza, Luke Masomere and Joey Antipas in the match-fixing scam. They are alleged to have received money to throw away matches against Asian opponents, which included Syria, Thailand, Jordan and Bahrain.
The Asia match fixing scandal report is expected to dominate discussions at both the board meeting today and the assembly tomorrow.
The board, after deliberations, will present its recommendations to the Zifa assembly which is expected to come up with its own recommendations to be forwarded to Fifa and the Sports and Recreation Committee.
Zifa, however, are likely to come up with a softer approach regarding players who were party to the scam to avert the possibility of losing the core of the national team.
At the same conference, board member responsible for development, Benedict Moyo, said that they would categorise the players depending on the number of trips they made.
“Article 62 allows us as a board to come up with recommendations,” Moyo said. “It’s not like whoever is found guilty has to be banned, we can make recommendations to Fifa on how we think the matter should be dealt with.”
While the report was leaked to the media, the Zifa board will only be furnished with it today.
Initially, Zifa had indicated that they would spare the players who were cooperating with the investigating team, but Fifa rules compel them to take relevant action.
This has left some of the players and coaches’ careers under serious threat as they face punishments ranging from fines, suspensions to total bans from the game.
Among the players who will follow the Zifa deliberations with keen interest are Method Mwanjali, Nyasha Mushekwi, Gilbert Mapemba, Daniel Vheremu, Washington Arubi, Edmore Sibanda, Cuthbert Malajila, Ashley Rambanepasi, Thomas Sweswe, Zephania Ngodzo and Philip Marufu.
If banned, the players would have dealt a body blow to the national team as some of them have established themselves as regular members.
Mwanjali has since been lined up to take over the captaincy after Benjani Mwaruwari’s retirement from international football.
On the other hand, Arubi looks to have claimed the Warriors number one jersey having played the two African Cup of Nations qualifiers so far in this campaign.
Mushekwi, who recently started a career at Sundowns after his move from Caps United at the beginning of the South African season, has already been described as the best find of the season.

 

Kevin Mapasure

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