Zifa eye former Chief Justice Gubbay

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Former Chief Justice Anthony Gubbay is set to chair the Zifa Ethics Committee that will deal with the match-fixing scandal which has rocked the country’s football fraternity.

Sources at Zifa yesterday revealed association president Cuthbert Dube had approached the former Supreme Court judge and an agreement is looming.

While Gubbay is understood to have agreed to take up the top position, another source said Dube was struggling to court other suitable members to sit on the committee.

The long-awaited Ethics Committee will comprise a retired judge, a retired police commissioner, a lawyer and two administrators with a football background.

“The list is being finalised and I can assure you that the Ethics Committee will be commissioned before the end of next week.

I understand Gubbay has agreed to chair the committee, although there are still some sticking points to the agreement, but Cuthbert Dube has been working flat out to get him,” sources said.

Zifa communications manager Nicky Dhlamini yesterday confirmed the list was being finalised although she refused to divulge the names.

She said the committee would “definitely” be announced before the end of this month.

“I cannot give you the names because consultations and interviews for the prospective people are still going on. It’s almost done, though, and the selection has started.

The process had been disrupted because of the Cape Verde match, but now that it’s over and done with, we expect the process to move a bit faster. I cannot give you the exact date when it will be announced, but as you might be aware, Zifa have set this month-end as the deadline,” said Dhlamini.

Dube and Zifa chief executive officer Mashingaidze could not be reached for comment yesterday as they were said to be in a meeting.

Gubbay served as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court between 1990 and 2001 before he was forced to take early retirement and replaced by Godfrey Chidyausiku.

The 79-year-old, remembered for his unflinching fight for human rights and justice, had previously worked as a Supreme and High Court judge and as a private advocate from 1974 before he was promoted to the position of Chief Justice. The expected commissioning of the Ethics Committee will bring finality to the long-drawn-out match-fixing scandal which has implicated a host of current national team players, Zifa board members and journalists.

Northern Region chairman Solomon Mugavazi, board member (development) Methembe Ndlovu and second vice-president Kenny Marange were suspended from all football activities following the release of the second and final Asiagate report by an investigating committee.

Zifa first vice-president Ndumiso Gumede last month said they want to conclude the match-fixing scandal before year-end. Gumede, who was part of the team that investigated the scandal, said there would be no sacred cows.

The other members of the team were board member (finance) Elliot Kasu, board member (competitions) Benedict Moyo and Eastern Region chairman Fungai Chihuri.

Several individuals, including players, have denied some of the information contained in the report saying it was not a true reflection of the interviews that took place between them and the investigating committee.
Parliament has also taken steps to institute a committee that will look into the scandal.

Chris Eaton, Fifa head of security, was also in the country recently where he affirmed that punishments must be meted out to those found guilty.

Fifa boss Sepp Blatter, in his visit on July 4, also stated that life bans would be suitable for those found guilty of match-fixing.

Efforts to get a comment from Gubbay were fruitless yesterday.