HomeOpinion & AnalysisColumnistsLife bans are not enough

Life bans are not enough

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While the Asiagate football match-fixing scandal rages on, with appeals and litigation likely to follow this week, simply banning the accused is not good enough.

We believe this is the time Zimbabwe becomes a serious nation and show the world that it will not tolerate such kinds of horrible crimes, where the soul of the nation, the pride of an independent people, is sold by a group of greedy football officials.

While we obviously feel pity for the players, selling the nation is a huge crime and if people are being charged with treason or high treason for watching a video of the Egyptian uprisings, there is no reason for match fixers not to be brought before the courts of law.

These traitors have accumulated illegal wealth and that must be forfeited to the State, unless there is selective application of law in this regard.

Still on the same issue, Dynamos is the biggest football franchise in this country, with followers from across the globe and naturally anything they do, on and off the field, attracts attention for whatever reason.

As such, they are expected to lead by example and set standards for the rest of the clubs in the Premier Soccer League and the big boys, Highlanders and Caps United, should be expected to follow. They must exhibit professionalism in their conduct at any given opportunity.
With this in mind, Dynamos were the first club to accept the life ban imposed by the Independent Ethics Committee on Asiagate match-fixing and endorsed defender Guthrie Zhokinyu’s ban without any qualms. That was the right thing to do.

We are not saying that Zhokinyi is guilty or not; we are simply saying that once a decision has been made on such critical issues and advice issued that the bans are with immediate effect, then such advice should be followed.

Thus Dynamos led by example and did the right thing by not fielding the player during the Mbada Diamonds Cup quarter-final match against Gunners at Baghdad Stadium in Kwekwe on Sunday. We salute you.
The situation for Zhokinyi is saddening and we understand an appeal process is on the way to help the player to clear his name if he is innocent. Like the other 15 banned with him, he needs
CHF3 000 ($3 238, 06) and has three days to appeal.

The bans will not take effect internationally until Fifa makes a decision, possibly after the long appeal process. And like in any other case, a ban should then be suspended until the result of the appeal.

And to cap the scandal, we turn to Henrietta Rushwaya. Does she not have a point? She says journalists must go back to school to prepare for such rainy days. It might sound hurtful and brutal, but that’s the reality check. It simply means that following the exposé it’s now every man or woman for himself or herself.

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