Match-fixing scandal to dominate Fifa retreat

THE match-fixing scandal that has rocked Zimbabwean football in the last few months will dominate discussions at a Fifa retreat in the resort town of Kariba at the weekend.

Fifa representatives are in the country for the retreat which is held every four years when a new Zifa board is elected into office.
The main aim of the retreat is to orient the new board members and educate them on different aspects of football administration.
Fifa will get a report of the probe into the match-fixing scandal during the retreat. National team players and officials received money to throw away matches in Asia between 2007 and 2009. 
Zifa acting chief executive officer Jonathan Mashingaidze said  the association will be afforded an opportunity to present their probe report to Fifa after initial investigations into the scam.
“We will give them a report on what is obtaining,” said Mashingaidze. “In this case we obviously have the match-fixing scandal whose investigations are continuing. The report of what came out in the first phase of investigations will be presented to Fifa and we will inform them on the position that we intend to take regarding the scandal.”
The Zifa assembly last week ordered the Zifa board to carryout a full scale inquest into all the trips to Asia undertaken by the Warriors, the national team.
An investigating committee led by Zifa vice president Ndumiso Gumede interviewed players and officials in the first phase of the probe.
Zifa expects to get Fifa’s input on the matter. The local body has since been advised to use the necessary Fifa statutes in dealing with those found guilty.
Zifa is reportedly reluctant to sanction players implicated in the scam arguing they were the nucleus of the current national team. Normally, match-fixing attracts life ban. 
Aside from the match fixing scandal, Fifa will educate Zifa board members on governance, planning, the constitution, crisis resolution and player transfers, among other issues.
Fifa would seek to equip the administrators with skills to enable them to develop football in the country and also make the sport a viable business.
With all board members in attendance, Zifa also intended to convene its own meeting to chat the way forward after Warriors coach Norman Mapeza quit the national side.
They will also look into how they can move forward after head coach Tom Saintfiet was denied a work permit by the Immigration Department.

Kevin Mapasure

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