HomeSportSoccerMbara speaks on Bulgaria tour

Mbara speaks on Bulgaria tour

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DYNAMOS left-back Augustine Mbara says he was stunned when he received a bonus for losing during an Under-21 tour of Bulgaria in 2009.
BY SPORTS REPORTER

The tour was considered “unclean” and some of the officials and players who undertook the trip face bans from Zifa following a report recently completed by an Independent Ethics Committee chaired by judge Justice Ahmed Ebrahim.

Sunday Chidzambwa, listed as an assistant coach and team manager during the draw, has already been banned for life while some of the officials and players still face potential sanctions. The bans await endorsement or otherwise from Fifa.

Notable among the players who have been cleared are Kaizer Chiefs defender Lincoln Zvasiya and Ajax Cape Town star Khama Billiat. Matthew Rusike, who has joined Chiefs, is listed, but it has been proved that he did not travel with the team.

Bantu Rovers boss Methembe Ndlovu was the head coach. According to the report, the match had a value of $70 000 and three matches — of which $210 000 was available — were supposed to be played during the tour.

Mbara, interviewed by members of the ethics committee, confirmed they conceded silly goals in the 5-0 loss. The following excerpt provides some detail:

Lewis Uriri: What went wrong in Bulgaria?
Mbara: We were young. Maybe there was something behind it.

Q: What do you mean?
Mbara: The manner we conceded goals. They were silly goals; though mistakes can happen.

Justice Ebrahim: Five mistakes in the same game?
Mbara: It was a bad pass, the keeper missed the ball.

Q: Have you ever been paid a bonus for losing?
Mbara: No.

Q: You lost the Bulgaria match?
Mbara: Yes.

Q: You got a bonus?
Mbara: Yes.

Q: You have never been paid a bonus before a match?
Mbara: Yes.

The committee said they were satisfied that Mbara, FC Platinum’s Qadr Amini and Tawanda Mandicha knew of match-fixing, although the last two got credit for coming through with evidence that was crucial to a determination that the Bulgaria match was fixed.

The report said: “We need to look at the direct evidence of some of the players. The first one is Mandicha.

“He testified that they were told by their coaches to concede goals and that he got paid $1 000. He stated that senior players got more.

“But coach Methembe Ndlovu denied that Mandicha was part of the travelling delegation, but Mandicha was able to produce before the Gumede committee his passport as proof of travel. He had already kept his board pass.

“His evidence finds direct corroboration from Qadr Amini, who confirms that they did receive instructions to concede goals. He says he was told by the captain that he (the captain), had told Artwell Mukandi, the goalkeeper to allow goals in.

“Amini testified that Bekkie Ndlovu shouted instructions on how to concede goals. He said the goals could easily have been saved, but Zimbabwe actually lost 5-0. Methembe Ndlovu sat quietly on the bench.”

Cyril Mukweva, who was the head of delegation, said there were disparities in payments with some getting $700 and others $2 000.

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