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Asia probe — ‘We were scared’


Zimbabwe Warriors players’ lives were put in danger after they lost 3-0 to Thailand in a fixed friendly match in December last year.

This is part of the testimony by one of the players who travelled with the team Daniel Vheremu, which he gave before a Zifa probe team led by first vice president Ndumiso Gumede into the controversial December 2009 trip to Malaysia.

The trip, according to then Zifa president Wellington Nyatanga’s submissions to the same committee, was not approved by the mother body and not sanctioned by the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC).

According to Mapemba, they were supposed to lose the opening match 1-0, but eventually lost 3-0 which led top anger from the alleged match fixers,
suspended Zifa programmes officer Jonathan Musavengana and one Raj Perumal.

Both have denied they were involved in match fixing.
Mapemba wrote: “I was phone by Musavengana on the 25th of December telling me to be at the airport by 11am on the 26th of December. We went to Thailand thinking it was a holiday which we had been promised if we won the Cosafa Cup.

”When we arrived, nothing was said about that, but they said Thailand wanted to a friendly game with us.

So as a team we agreed without knowing that it wasn’t just a friendly, but it had conditions.

“When they told us the conditions, we disagreed because they were not good to us.

They wanted us to play without scoring which is difficult.

But Musavengana persuade us to play.

“We lost 3-0 which was not the result they wanted. They wanted us to draw 0-0 or lose 1-0.

“So they were furious to us.

We were afraid because he (Raj) said he lost lots of money.

So in order for him to recover his money, he arranged two games for us.

“We played a game against a club in Thailand; we beat them 3-0 and we were given $500 for that match.

“We then went to Malaysia to play against Syria.

The condition was to lose 6-0 but we disagree but we were afraid because the guy wanted to recover his money.

So we player and lost 6-0 and we were given $1000 for that match at the airport.

“Prior to the game, we were told to lose the game 6-0 by Musavengana and Ruj and because of fear we lost by that margin.”
Musavengana is accused by a number of players of sitting on the bench giving instructions as to when the team should concede goals.
The revelations by Vheremu are also contained in the probe committee’s summary: “Raj threatened our players for having him lose millions of dollars by not losing according to instructions.”
Players and officials, including current Zifa board members, face lengthy or even life bans from Fifa if found guilty of match fixing. Zifa is already under pressure from the world soccer governing body to effect tough sanctions on offenders.
Fifa and the Confederation of African Football (CAF) are al5ready aware of the match fixing scandals after Malawian football consultant Felix Sapao wrote to the two organisations in August.
The allegations were contained in a leaked email written by Sapao to Fifa and Confederation of CAF officials. “I received a call from Henrietta’s friend…He then told me that he runs a betting syndicate and wanted to talk to four players from TP Mazembe, offering US$150 000 to each of the players and offering me US$300 000. He informed me that he would be able to buy me cars as he had bought Henrietta (a jeep and a Mazda CR9) cars and Kudzi a car (E240 Mercedes).”
Rushwaya’s charges for match fixing were not preferred last week where a tribunal heard her case, while Kudzi Shaba, a Fifa registered agent, denied all allegations levelled against him in a response to inquiries by NewsDay.

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