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Zifa meets Fifa

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The Zifa Board meets the visiting Fifa delegation on Thursday to consider the second Asiagate report and make recommendations on the state of Zimbabwean football to conclude a week-long organisational review tour.

The delegation is led by Fifa Southern Region development officer Ashford Mamelodi, Fifa management consultant Brendan Menton and Africa development boss Francisco Bruscolli.

Menton left Harare yesterday for the Victoria Falls to prepare for a summit of secretaries-general from 15 English-speaking countries that starts on Monday.

The delegation, which has been in the country since Saturday, has met Zifa president Cuthbert Dube and his deputies Ndumiso Gumede and Kenny Marange and the secretariat headed by chief executive officer Jonathan Mashingaidze.

Mashingaidze was not available to give a breakdown of the items on the agenda today, but the meeting will follow the Fifa/media discussion which will take place between 930am and 11am.

According to a programme released last week by Mashingaidze, Fifa will have an internal meeting from 1130am to 3pm today to develop findings made during the week and make recommendations on the organisational review to be presented to the Fifa executive committee.

The entire programme is meant to professionalise operations at Zifa House.

The delegation has also met the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) officials and various provincial Zifa leaders.

Among some of the board members they have met are (development) Methembe Ndlovu, (marketing) Nigel Munyati, (competitions), Benedict Moyo and Southern Region boss Gift Banda.

Today’s meeting will be the first to discuss the second Asiagate report which detailed allegations of match-fixing on the Warriors’ trips to Asia since 2007.

Gumede chaired the investigating committee which also had Moyo, board member finance Elliot Kasu and Eastern Region chairman Fungai Chihuri.

The investigations covered trips to Thailand, Yemen, Malaysia, Singapore, Oman, Vietnam and Jordan, undertaken by various officials and players.

Most of the players and officials interviewed have distanced themselves from the scripts they provided to the committee, claiming they were “spiced up”.

The report has been handed over to the SRC, the police, the Confederation of African Football (Caf) and Fifa.

Fifa president Sepp Blatter, in his visit last July, said all found guilty of match-fixing would be banned for life.

A team of investigators, led by Fifa head of security Chris Eaton, was due in Zimbabwe last month, but postponed their visit after being alerted to serious allegations of match-fixing in Mexico.

A new date is yet to be set, but sources yesterday indicated the visit could be next week or the first week of September.

The world football governing body, sources said, is in favour of applying football statutes to bring finality to the case.

“Fifa understands that police will take time in their investigations and the best way to bring the issue to finality is to use football statutes,” said a source.

The investigating committee came up with a cocktail of recommendations which include:

A disciplinary committee to be established according to Fifa statutes;

Cases of criminal nature be handed over to the law enforcement arms of the country;

Assets acquired using proceeds from the games to be confiscated for the benefit of football development programmes;

Personnel that are not or were not under the jurisdiction of Zifa be dealt with according to Fifa disciplinary code Article 62;

Those called to appear before the disciplinary committee and decided not to avail themselves then must be dealt with according to Fifa disciplinary code Article 62;

Members of the investigating committee be exempted from being members of the disciplinary committee;

Fifa disciplinary code Article 62 must be applied but Zifa should be allowed discretionary sentences on some instances; and

All heads of delegation who were in the know should face the ban and all technical teams personnel should be banned from football, i.e.
those who participated from the Merdeka Cup, all Asian tournaments and Cecafa tournament.

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