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Asiagate players in trouble

They have lodged complaints with the Football Union of Zimbabwe (FUZ).

FUZ has in turn written a report to Zifa urging the football association to deal expeditiously with the case so that the players are cleared and go on with their careers.

Zimbabwe international players among them Mamelodi Sundowns’ Method Mwanjali, Nyasha Mushekwi and Kaizer Chiefs’ Thomas Sweswe admitted in sworn statements to the Zifa probe headed by Ndumiso Gumede that they intentionally lost games in 2008 and 2009 on the instructions of members of betting syndicates. 

It has been particularly depressing for Mwanjali, who captained the disgraced Warriors as he only played two games for Mamelodi since joining them last year.
The two Sundown players are among many other players that have given evidence on the controversial trips to the Far East that involved Zifa officials and coaches.
Some of the international players fingered in match fixing are Mthulisi Maphosa (TP Mazembe) who has indicated that he wants to leave due to limited game time. Philip Marufu has also left DRC side FC Lupopo.
Some of the top players who played in the controversial Asia matches such as Gilbert Mapemba, Daniel Vheremu, Zephaniah Ngodzo, Washington Arubi, Benjamin Marere and Edmore Sibanda play in the domestic league and the impact on them is yet to felt and assessed.

Two months down the line the players plying their trade in South Africa are now paying the price for co-operating with Zifa as some unknown people at their bases are monitoring them. The players have in turn lodged complaints with FUZ.

In report to Zifa a copy in possession of Standardsport, FUZ said the careers of the implicated players could be derailed due to the allegations of match fixing.

“The Union is concerned by the time Zifa it taking to arraign its accused members before its disciplinary committee to enable them to defend themselves or be charged, Malicious accusations were leveled against our members and their activities at their clubs are now being monitored as a result of the match fixing saga. The Zifa justice delivery system is taking too long to conclude this issue and we call upon the football association to speedily resolve this case without further delay,” FUZ said.

According to the match fixing probe report Mwanjali as the captain, led the negotiations with the Asians for the players to be paid before the Syria game.
Mushekwi confirmed they were paid US$1 000 for losing adding that he had asked to be substituted in one of the matches as his conscience would not allow him to continue playing in a fixed match.
FUZ added that it does not condone match fixing in the report also copied to the Premier Soccer League chairman Twine Phiri.

“The Football Union of Zimbabwe does not condone match fixing by anyone in the football family and as such advocates for constant application of Fifa Article/s on match fixing. We strongly believe that the accused have to be fairly treated and accorded representation during interrogation. The Asiagate investigations were conducted so as to expose and discipline the beneficiaries of the match fixing scandal. Therefore the Union is concerned about the time that Zifa is taking to arraign its accused members before its disciplinary committee to enable them to defend themselves or be charged,” FUZ said in the report.

Zifa acting chief executive officer Jonathan Mashingaidze confirmed that he once had a discussion with FUZ concerning the issue and that they received the document from FUZ.
“The thing is that the matter is now beyond our control. A disciplinary process has to be followed.
“It is everyone’s wish that this case be dealt with and let everything pass and start on a fresh page. It is true that these allegations have the capacity to destroy the mentioned players’ careers. What FUZ is doing is very much commendable, it shows that they have players at heart,” Mashingaidze said.


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