HomeSportSoccerZifa to attend Interpol seminar on match-fixing

Zifa to attend Interpol seminar on match-fixing

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Zifa has been invited to attend the first Interpol conference on match fixing to be held in South Africa later this month.

The conference is the first in Africa, taking a specific look at recent incidences in Southern Africa and in Zimbabwe following the unearthing of a match-fixing scandal that dates back to 2007.

A total of 97 players and officials were suspended by an independent committee investigating the allegations, but 30 players have been cleared.
The rest of the players and officials will know their fate by next week when the Justice Ahmed Ebrahim-led committee completes its final round of interviews on Saturday.

They are expected to interview former Zifa president Wellington Nyatanga, former chief executive Henrietta Rushwaya, former Premier Soccer League fixtures secretary Godfrey Japajapa and ex-Warriors skipper Benjani Mwaruwari.

Zifa chief executive officer Jonathan Mashingaidze confirmed the invite yesterday.

“The dates have been set as August 25 and 26 and we will be represented by five people. We should complete registration for the seminar on Friday,” he said.

One of the officials who will attend the seminar is newly appointed security officer Lovemore Marange.

Last week, Zifa president Cuthbert Dube said they were hoping to release the “Asiagate bombshell” before the Warriors international friendly against Zambia in Ndola next Wednesday.

The board meets again on Saturday where they will verify the status of former coach Norman Mapeza, who is under suspension on match-fixing allegations while Zifa has confirmed Rahman Gumbo as the new head coach.

Last month, world football governing body Fifa, who pledged $28 million towards the fight against match-fixing, ratified the appointment of former Interpol director Ralf Mutschke as the new Director of Security.

He replaces Chris Eaton who has moved to Qatar. The Fifa-Interpol initiative has already held a workshop in Finland where Asiagate suspect Wilson Raj Perumal did some jail time over similar allegations.

Mutschke told Fifa.com that they need more evidence to convict match fixers.

“It is Fifa policy to have a zero-tolerance attitude (towards match-fixing) and to act accordingly. I’d like punishments to be given out more frequently, as long as there is sufficient evidence to do so.

“Fifa has to send out a signal to show that these matters will not be overlooked and that they will be forcefully dealt with. Our objective is long-term success in order to make the sport cleaner.”

He added: “It’s not possible to defeat criminal activity altogether and match-fixing is clearly such an activity. We’d need to create a different society in order to get rid of it. Corruption is another issue that will persist.

“However, I hope we can minimise the problem and restrict it. In that respect we will continue to put match fixers under considerable pressure. On top of that, I’m counting on preventative measures and hope that in the long-term we can give our youth the strength to develop resistance to criminal temptations to make a fast buck. But we won’t be able to completely eliminate the problem.”

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