Central Soccer League title aspirants Hardbody return to the dock today for the sitting of their appeal against the docking of a staggering 42 points, after they were last month found guilty of fraudulently registering a player.
This is the simply case of using an unregistered player that brought out issues of match-fixing and corruption in matches that involved Division One title chasing teams Hardbody and Tripple B.
And this is the case which is now the source of discomfort to Zifa president Cuthbert Dube.
The Gweru team is contesting the ruling by the Reginald-Chidawanyika-chaired Central Region disciplinary committee where they were found guilty of improperly registering Tatenda Chingara whom they used on 14 occasions.
Today, their case would be heard by the Ralph Maganga-chaired appeals committee in Harare.
Central Region chairman Patrick Hokonya yesterday confirmed receiving — through Zifa chief executive officer Jonathan Mashingaidze — summons prepared by the appeals committee secretary Timothy Sangarwe.
“We received summons from Mashingaidze that Hardbody’s hearing is on tomorrow (today) at 12pm in Harare. But we are failing to send a representative from our office since it is on a working day and also having got the summons at such short notice,” said Hokonya.
Hardbody’s case saw Tripple B briefly crowned champions before their status was withheld after the busmen filed an appeal.
The case has put on ice the crowning of the champions in the region which has been severely affected by match-fixing and corruption scandals and having clubs trying to gain promotion through the back door.
The appeal has at the moment filtered a ray of Premiership hopes for Hardbody whose dreams had gone up in smoke after the initial disciplinary hearing in which their director Takesure Sibanda was found guilty of attempted match-fixing and fined $800.
Club secretary Raymond Mugandani had been banned from all football related activities for 12 months after being found guilty of facilitating the registration of Chingara.
Chapungu, who were third in the league race have also complained against Tripple B’s alleged ineligible use of Witness Nyamutsaka, formerly of Kiglon and are praying both Tripple B and Hardbody are docked points. They will then grab the Premiership ticket.
The Thornhill Airbase side has not yet paid complaint fees and the matter is likely to be referred to the disciplinary committee instead of the Player Status Committee.
Bribing referees in the region has seen acting referees committee chairperson Samukeliso Silengane, Southern and Central representatives Cosmas Nyoni and Cedric Raisi being suspended for issues that involve corruption and match-fixing.
On Tuesday, it sucked in Hokonya and Southern Region boss Gift Banda, who were fingered by Nyoni. Nyoni is also involved in the Asiagate match-fixing scam.
Banda replied with a stinging attack on Zifa president Cuthbert Dube yesterday, raising issues of alleged vote buying in last year’s elections and warning that those who live in glass houses must not thrown stones.
Dube, who is expected to make his response today, has been cornered after further revelations there are witnesses ready to reveal how he allegedly bought votes during elections.