Mapeza exonerated but banned

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FORMER Warriors coach Norman Mapeza is bearing the brunt of failure to stop his players from throwing a match despite disassociating himself from the match-fixing scam at the Cecafa tournament in Kenya.

Report by Kevin Mapasure

Mapeza did not take any money to throw away matches but he will be punished with a six-month ban because he allegedly allowed the players to participate.

The players who made the trip are up for five-year bans.
“We take a serious view of the conduct of these players,” reads part of the report.

“The evidence shows they met as a team, agreed to lose for reward and went out of their way to look for Raj to do a deal-contrary to the good advice of their coach. Their moral blameworthiness is high. For players who participated in this tour, we recommend a ban on taking part in any football-related activity for a period of five years (in addition to whatever penalty may have been imposed for others).”

After listing the likes of Ndumiso Khanye, Ocean Mushure, Lionel Mtizwa and Nqobile Mpala among others the report further states: “There is one exception, Norman Mapeza, for whom we recommend a ban for six months. He dissociated himself from the scam, but allowed the players to participate. He should have shown more leadership.”

Mapeza was fired from his Warriors post and replaced by Rahman Gumbo. He is fighting the dismissal and his case will be dealt with by the arbitration committee.

While players, officials and the public feel former Zifa chief executive officer Henrietta Rushwaya was at the centre of the Asiagate scam, the Ethics Committee report noted the embattled administrator was not entirely to blame.

“There was a tendency among many other witnesses to portray her as the person responsible for the rot. We think this portrayal is not entirely justified; the likelihood is that the rot started before she was involved with Zifa and even when she did become involved with the match-fixing scandal she was by no means the only person doing so,” reads the report.

While she was exonerated of any involvement in the Merdeka tournament and the Vietnam trip, Rushwaya got involved later and “became a very effective pilot of a corrupt ship that sailed our football to its present state”.

She has been given a life ban from football.

The committee completed its mandate last month before handing over the report to Zifa earlier this month.

The Zifa board will meet again today to continue deliberations on the report and is expected to announce more players and
officials recommended for sanctions.

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