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Warriors’ Asia horror

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Some of the senior Warriors’ players involved in the Asian soccer betting and match-fixing scandal, who were interviewed by the Zifa Board of Enquiry into the high-profile scandal, have admitted that they were paid huge sums of money to throw away games.

In transcripts that accompany the Zifa probe team report, captain Method Mwanjali, Caps United goalkeeper Edmore Sibanda, champions Gunners’ defender Daniel Vheremu, South Africa–based Thomas Svesve and Nyasha Mushekwi, Dynamos pair Benjamin Marere and George Magariro and Caps United’s Gilbert Mapemba made submissions to that effect to the investigating panel.

Although not much came out from Mwanjali, the former Caps United midfielder, now with Mamelodi Sundowns in South Africa, said he was called by suspended Zifa competitions manager Jonathan Musavengana informing of the travel arrangements for the Malaysia trip on December 28 last year.

Part of Mwanjali’s transcript:

Q: Can you tell the panel how you came to know and how you travelled to Malaysia on December 28, 2010?

R: Musavengana phoned me on the morning of the departure date at around 0900 hours.

Q: Who normally informs you about national assignment?

R: It’s the coach or team manager through our clubs.

Q: What transpired or who received the delegation on arrival?

R: All I can remember is that there was no one from their FA (football association) but Musa held a meeting with all of us as players at the hotel soon after arrival. He told us that we were going to be introduced and meet guys from Singapore, who were going to offer us money for losing matches according to their instructions.
It was my first time to hear such a thing and also it was my first time to be in Malaysia. I therefore asked him as team captain, why we had to do such an abominable thing to our nation.

Q: So what did he say?

R: He said that Zifa had no money to give us and therefore we had to raise our allowances and upkeep this way. Also this is how things were done when a team came to Malaysia for these games. It was money-making time. He told us to lose by a certain number of goals against Thailand so as to get our money or allowances. I asked that who were the guys and where were they?
Musavengana responded that they were from Singapore and we were going to meet them soon. I was later introduced to this Singaporean guy at supper and it is Musavengana who showed him to me and told me his name was Raja.

Q: Who set (sat) on the national bench?

R: It was Joey, Sachikonye, Lloyd, Matenda, Musavengana and Raja. Musa sat on the bench and him and Matenda were the ones giving out instructions on how to concede and lose the match. We were told to lose the game by 1-0 against Thailand. Raja had come to our dressing room before kickoff and told us to lose to Thailand by 1-0. We were supposed to concede a goal in the 20th minute. Raja had promised us for that 1-0 at the 20th minute a fee per player of $3 000. To indicate that we should now concede, Matenda was supposed, and he did during the match, to stand up (and blow) a mouth-whistle or Musa would stand up and indicate. We were given or taught these “codes” just before kick-off.

Q: Did you concede then in the 20th minute?

R: We were scored in the 44th minute but not by design. For that Raja was visibly angry and came to the dressing room at half time and blew his top.

R: We were handsomely paid $1 000 each for losing. The money was paid at the airport as we were about to depart for home. Musavengana said that Zifa were going to get $10 000 from each game.

Q: Have you ever seen the same guys again?

R: Yes, the same guys I saw in Malaysia are the same guys we saw in South Africa at the Japan friendly match.

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