New Fifa investigator for Asiagate

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World football governing body Fifa has appointed German national Ralf Mutschke (52) as its new director of security taking over from Zimbabwe’s Asiagate investigator Chris Eaton.

Eaton leaves the job on May 31 and Mutschke will take over on June 1.

Fifa said in a statement at the weekend: “We have decided to strengthen the former security department, making it into a full division in order to continue to tackle all issues related to football security and the protection of the integrity of the game.

“This is another major step in our determination to ensure a clean and safe sport and to underline our commitment to the fight against match-fixing in football. We are extremely pleased that someone of the calibre of Ralf Mutschke has decided to join us and we are convinced that he has all the right qualities and expertise to lead this division successfully,” said Fifa secretary-general Jérôme Valcke.

“My tasks as director of security will be manifold. For me, the main issue will be the integrity of Fifa competitions. The focus here will be on match-fixing, betting fraud and corruption. The initiatives that Fifa has already launched are good steps in the right direction.

“I will now have to pursue these initiatives stringently, but also build upon them and implement them consistently with the involvement of Interpol and national security authorities. With this in mind, I will be able to call upon more than 30 years of experience with the BKA in the fight against national and particularly international crime,” added Mutschke.

Eaton and his chief investigator Terry Steans were in the country last year to conduct investigations of the match-fixing allegations against almost 99 players, officials and administrators.

The players, together with national team coach Norman Mapeza and his assistant Joey Antipas, have been suspended from all national football activities until they clear their names before a Justice Ahmed Ebrahim-led Zifa Independent Disciplinary Ad-hoc Committee.

The suspension of players and coaches saw Zifa appointing Rahman Gumbo as the interim head coach for the 2013 Africa of Nations qualifier against Burundi last Wednesday which the Warriors, fielding a basically new team, lost 2-1 in Bujumbura.

Former chief executive officer Henrietta Rushwaya has also been arrested and charged with concealing information from a principal regarding the trips to Asia between 2007 and 2009, bribery and corruption by the Anti-Corruption Commission.
She is out on $500 bail.

Current chief executive Jonathan Mashingaidze was two weeks ago allegedly kidnapped and extorted of $2 000 for his involvement in the match-fixing investigations. Two men have since appeared in court and are out on bail.

Mutschke will be in charge of the new Fifa Security Division, responsible for all security matters related to Fifa competitions across the world, the global security concepts for football in general, security around Fifa headquarters in Zurich, the Fifa president and the Fifa administration, as well as for matters related to the integrity and protection of the game itself.