Ashford Mamelodi, the Fifa Development Officer in charge of East and Southern Africa, is expected in the country next week to tackle a number of issues among them, the match-fixing scandal that has hit the national football association (Zifa).
Zifa acting chief executive officer, Jonathan Mashingaidze confirmed to NewsDay yesterday that the former Cosafa secretary- general Mamelodi would be in the country from the September 21-23.
“He (Mamelodi) will visit next week to meet the new Zifa board and to look at the number of issues that are affecting the national football association,” said Mashingaidze.
“He last visited the country in March before the new board was elected into office so he is coming to meet the new board.”
Mamelodi, during his three days stay in the country, is expected to tackle the match-fixing scandal that has hit Zifa, Mashingaidze said.
“Our national team was exposed as you are aware of, and as the man responsible for the region, he wants to get first-hand information on what is happening. He wants to find out how far we have gone in trying to solve the match-fixing scandal and what the inquiry has achieved,” said Mashingaidze.
He said Mamelodi would also review the country’s Fifa goal project that started in 2003 before making courtesy calls to the Ministry of Education, Sports, Arts and Culture, the Zimbabwe Olympic Committee and the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC).
A three-man committee, led by Zifa vice-president Ndumiso Gumede, is leading the investigations into how the Warriors travelled to Malaysia on December 28 last year without clearance from the SRC amid suspicion the match was organised by betting syndicates. The committee has produced a report to the SRC on the numerous Asia trips, but the supreme sports body had demanded a detailed report.
Zifa programmes officer Jonathan Musavengana, who travelled with the team to Malaysia, has been suspended while marketing officer Harry Taruva was also suspended pending a hearing.
Chief executive officer Henrietta Rushwaya has been suspended and faces a hearing tomorrow, charged with facilitating the trip to Malaysia, among other charges.
According to the charge sheet, Rushwaya stands accused of: “ . . . Facilitating (and) or allowing the Zimbabwe national soccer team to travel to Malaysia on a trip that had not been approved by either the Zifa board or the SRC.
“That is to say on December 28 2009, a Zifa employee (Musavengana) under your direct supervision, with your tacit or implied approval, arranged a trip by the national team to Malaysia where the team played a fixed match under the auspices of a Malaysian betting syndicate.
“The team was paid to lose the match, to the previous prejudice to the reputation of Zimbabwe as a soccer playing nation and to the Fifa ranking of the national team.”
Other charges against her read: “That is to say on or about May 26 2010, you on behalf of Zifa, signed a contract with Kentaro A.G in terms of which Zifa literally gave everything away including rights as defined by Article 45 of the Zifa constitution and got nothing out of a soccer match that was eventually played between the Zimbabwe national team and the Brazilian national team at the National Sports Stadium.
“As a result of your action in binding the national association to this one-sided agreement, Kentaro A G is demanding from Zifa, payment equivalent to all the gate takings realised from the said match, money which the national association did not receive in the first place.
“It is further alleged that you also applied for a loan of $103 000 from the Sport and Recreation Commission (SRC) without the authority of the board and to date you have not accounted for the same money, neither have you repaid it. The SRC has demanded this money from Zifa,” reads part of the charge sheet.
While documents on the $103 000 from the SRC were not available Thursday, it is understood that part of the money was used to assist four teams that were taking part in Caf Orange Champions League and the Confederations Cup.
Each of the four clubs is understood to have received $19 000, bringing the total to $76 000 while the remainder was used for player allowances in two matches by the Warriors for the Africa Nations Championships (Chan) against Swaziland.