ZIFA president Cuthbert Dube yesterday insisted latest reports which they have received show that the decisive 2013 Nations Cup qualifier between Zimbabwe and Angola in Luanda on Sunday was fixed.
Report by Tawanda Tafirenyika Sports Correspondent
The Zifa boss said the same thing on Tuesday during the presentation of the final Asiagate report. Yesterday, Dube met with the Zimbabwe National Soccer Supporters’ Association at his offices in the capital where the two parties buried their differences and promised to work together for the good of the game.
“The latest reports we have received show that the match in Angola was fixed. There were funny faces in Angola and we have photos of some of them,” Dube said.
The Zifa boss also described failure by the Warriors to secure a place at next year’s finals in South Africa after having gone into the match carrying a 3-1 lead from the first leg as “treasonous”.
The Warriors were defeated 2-0 to crash out on away goals rule.
“That is a sin. It’s treasonous. I was watching the match on television in my room and when we conceded two goals I moved out,” said Dube, who reiterated that he was worried by the continued existence of the current national team. He hinted that the whole team could be disbanded and a new team rebuilt around the Under-17s up to the Under-23s.
The supporters’ association led by Eddie “Mboma” Nyatanga has been against the Dube leadership and even went to Parliament a few months ago where they criticised the association’s board for instituting investigations into the match-fixing scandal.
A total of 13 players and officials were banned for life with others suspended after they were found guilty of match-fixing by the Justice Ahmed Ebrahim Independent Ethics Committee which was tasked to carry out investigations. The supporters’ association pleaded with Dube for forgiveness saying whatever they had said when they went to Parliament was uncalled for and that they now wanted to work together with the Zifa board for the good of the game.
Dube forgave them saying: “If Jesus died for the people and forgave them who am I not to forgive you?”
The supporters appealed to the Zifa president to be lenient with players who were banned for their involvement in the Asiagate. The association’s first vice-president Eddie Chivero said: “We are sorry. It has been for selfish gains to involve ourselves in these unnecessary fights. We need to work together. As supporters we are behind you in cleaning up football and we believe organisers of Asiagate should be punished. But we appeal to you to consider the plight of our young boys who were led blindly by those who organised this.”
Dube said as a father, he would present the issue to the board for discussion. “I am a father and I don’t want children who end up being criminals. If their careers come to an abrupt end where is our conscience? Some of them were threatened and when you are threatened while in a foreign country you have no option,” he said.
The Zifa boss, however, said the supporters’ voice might not carry the day, as the board would make a decision.