HomeOpinion & AnalysisColumnistsComment: Zifa’s Asiagate probe commendable

Comment: Zifa’s Asiagate probe commendable

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The conclusion to the match-fixing scandal, Asiagate, is slowly taking shape and the doubting Thomases about the power of the Zifa Board to deal with this mess should reconsider their positions.

This Monday saw the appointment of seven-man Independent Ad Hoc Disciplinary Committee to conduct the final investigations and determine the fate of those found guilty of having taken part in the scam.

From the beginning, some people doubted the capacity of the investigating committee and chose to label it all sorts of denigrating names.

The Asiagate One and Two reports — like any other — will have flaws here and there, but on the overall, the substance contained must be recognised as a fair attempt by football people to unravel a criminal activity.

Critics saw the report as an opportunity to start imaginary wars, in particular against the chairman of the investigating committee Ndumiso Gumede and secretary Benedict Moyo, based on their places of origin. Interestingly nothing was said about the other two members Elliot Kasu and Fungai Chihuri.

That aside, Fifa when its security boss Chris Eaton and chief investigator Terry Stean came here the gave thumbs-up to the document and will use it as starting point for their own investigations.

Various events have been taking place in the last month and those involved or suspected to have been involved, must be aware that the foot is on the pedal to accelerate the conclusion of this case.

We are happy Zifa do not want to tie down players and officials with this tag and also desire to bring to conclusion the investigation as quickly as possible.

They have managed to glean some information from Malawian football agent Felix Sapao, very vital information that exposes how far the scam had gone.

Wilson Raj Perumal, the man said to be at the centre of the scam and serving a jail term for similar offences, has been singing nonstop in Finland where he is doing time.

His information is more than vital and the man, according to reports, wants immunity from Fifa for providing information.

Henrietta Rushwaya, the former Zifa chief executive officer, has met Eaton and Stean, perhaps, to give her side of the story after being fingered heavily in the reports.

Contents of the meeting are obviously not available, but if Perumal has been singing, it certainly means some vital data has been released.

We read in other media that a computer was taken away by the two Fifa gentlemen for further scrutiny by their security departments in the hope of getting some information from the Asian trips from 2007.

There is no paper trail at Zifa on those trips, but there should be a way of getting information on the trips since there is no doubt teams and a club did travel to Asia.

But for now, the direction Zifa is taking is commendable and any doubters will be put in their rightful place because sooner or later, the chickens will come home to roost.

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