Zifa board meets

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The Zifa board meets again on Friday in Harare to get a final briefing on the Asiagate second report and the visit by the Fifa head of security Chris Eaton.

Eaton was in the country from Saturday to Monday where he held various meetings with the investigating committee which produced the report, the Sports Commission, police and the Anti- Corruption Commission.

Zifa communications manager Nicky Dhlamini confirmed today’s meeting.

The national association president Cuthbert Dube was outside the country when Eaton visited and is expected to get a full briefing on Friday.

The meeting comes hard on the heels of the last one that saw the suspension of first vice-president Kenny Marange, board member (development) Methembe Ndlovu and Northern Region chairman Solomon Mugavazi.

The corruption involving Asian betting syndicates blew up in July 2009 when a Monomotapa team went to Malaysia without Premier Soccer League approval and passed themselves off as the Zimbabwe national team.

It later emerged former Zifa chief executive officer Henrietta Rushwaya and the association’s programmes officer Jonathan Musavengana had falsely communicated to the Football Association of Malaysia that the club side, which played and lost two matches 4-0 and 1-0 while wearing the Zimbabwe strip, was the national team. Questions over Monomotapa’s funding for the trip remain.

The two friendly ties were later stripped of their A international status, meaning the defeats did not affect Zimbabwe’s Fifa ranking.

Monomotapa coach, Rodwell Dhlakama, involved in the Malaysia con, lost his job after players said they had been paid bungs to lose matches against TP Mazembe and Etoile De Sahel in the African Champions League.

A Zifa probe team led by vice- president Ndumiso Gumede, Elliot Kasu, Benedict Moyo and Fungai Chihuri looked at the Thailand and Malaysia trips in December 2009.

On the trip, a second-string Zimbabwe team lost 3-0 to Thailand; beat the Malaysian champions Selangor 3-0 before suffering a 6-0 drubbing by Syria.

In their findings in the first report, they found that:

Wilson Raj Perumal paid Zimbabwe players $1 500 each to lose by a pre-agreed scoreline

A member of the syndicate sat on the Zimbabwe bench and gave instructions when to concede goals

Zifa programmes officer Musavengana received “a bunch of US dollars” from a representative of the syndicate

Players feared for their lives when a representative of the betting syndicate claimed they had cost him $1 million after losing the first game 3-0 instead of 1-0.

Rushwaya was in on the fraud

The match-fixing may have been going on for three years, starting with the 2007 Merdeka Cup held to commemorate Malaysian National Day

Skipper Method Mwanjali negotiated payments with the betting syndicate

An agent of the syndicate was at the Warriors camp ahead of a friendly match with Japan just before the start of the 2010 Fifa World Cup in South Africa in June

Most of the players involved in the corruption “now pose a big problem” for the national team.

Some of the stars set to face questions over the Asian trips include Nyasha Mushekwi, Daniel Veremu, Cuthbert Malajila, Benjamin Marere, Mthulisi Maphosa, Phillip Marufu, Willard Manyatera and Zephaniah Ngodzo.

Coaches facing investigation include former Dynamos and Warriors coach Sunday Chidzambwa, now at Free State Stars in South Africa, Motor Action coach Joey Antipas, Emmanuel Nyahuma, Luke Masomere and Ndlovu.