Zimbabwe received praise from the Confederation of African Football (Caf) delegates on Saturday during the 2011 African Nations Championships (Chan) draw in Khartoum, Sudan, for its efforts to “cleanse” soccer through match-fixing investigations.
Ben Moyo, the Zifa board member (competitions), attended the draw in Sudan on Saturday at which were 16 members from the respective associations that will participate in the second edition of the competition early next year.
These included defending champions Democratic Republic of Congo, hosts Sudan, last year’s losing finalists Ghana, South Africa, Niger, Uganda, Algeria, Gabon, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Mali, Senegal, Rwanda, Tunisia and Angola.
“Delegates praised Zimbabwe for launching investigations into match-fixing and we are happy about that recognition. They pledged to support us to get more international friendlies as part of our preparations.
“So for now, we have no excuse not to get any nations to play although we might be underfunded. We were tainted by this match-fixing scandal but we are glad that our efforts to clean the game have been recognised,” Moyo said.
The probe was instigated by the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) and Zifa immediately appointed a four-man committee led by vice-president Ndumiso Gumede. The first report was handed to the SRC who will then decide the way forward.
Zifa had also attempted to charge former chief executive officer Henrietta Rushwaya with match-fixing allegations, but suspended programmes officer Jonathan Musavengana, whose case is set to be concluded today is in hot soup after being fingered heavily in match-fixing.
The Warriors will face neighbours South Africa, who are already seeing Zimbabwe as a stumbling block in their first appearance.
According to reports from South Africa, coach Simon Ngomane has described the Chan draw as “tough”.
“It is a difficult draw,” Ngomane told Cafonline on Sunday from his base in South Africa.
“You look at Ghana for example who did extremely well at in the Fifa 2010 World Cup and you look at their youth development.”
Ngomane added that northern neighbours and rivals Zimbabwe would be a factor especially that they were returning for a second Chan tour of duty after qualifying for the inaugural event held in Ivory Coast in 2009.
He said the South Africans were looking forward to the Chan derby against Zimbabwe in Sudan.
“Of course, we will be looking forward to it (the derby). Zimbabwe are a very strong team. They seem to be growing by the day.”