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Nyatanga under spotlight

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FORMER Zifa chairman Wellington Nyatanga “agreed to raise a team” that took part in the 2007 Merdeka Cup tournament in Malaysia, which is believed to have had Warriors matches fixed and should be investigated.

BY OUR SPORTS REPORTER

This is the view of the Independent Ethics Committee, who recently completed their report on the match-fixing scandal.
“While there are grounds to be very suspicious about Nyatanga’s conduct, we cannot be comfortably satisfied that he knew much of the match-fixing.

“However, further investigations need to be made to ascertain the truth of the matter. If further new evidence emerges, there would be nothing to stop Zifa from proceeding against him.

“There was conflicting evidence about who authorised or organised the tour. Nyatanga agreed that he came to know that teams were being sought for this tournament. He consulted the vice-president of the Malaysian Football Association and agreed to raise a team.

“He says he asked the Malaysian vice-president to get in touch with the secretariat to arrange the trip. On the other hand, (two named officials), claimed it was the President’s Office which arranged the trip. Given that Nyatanga was the acting CEO (chief executive officer) before the arrival of Rushwaya (Henrietta as CEO),  we consider that the probabilities are that he arranged the Merdeka Cup tour and that he knew Raj.

“However, we do not find that we can positively conclude that he knew Raj was going to fix the matches. Nyatanga was not present at the meetings where Raj told all the other members of the delegation what was to happen. No one saw Nyatanga receive any money. He was in Malaysia for only one match and then returned home.”

The money in question is $10 000 which was due to the association, but according to the committee, there is no accounting record of the money.

Zifa must restructure

ZIFA must restructure its secretariat to bring its activities more under the control of the board, the judge Justice Ahmed Ebrahim committee has recommended.

In a raft of recommendations included in the final Asiagate match-fixing scandal report, the committee said: “Zifa rules need to be overhauled to bring them more into line with the Fifa Disciplinary Code. There should be some clear provisions for dealing with unruly spectators, dishonest journalists and so on.

“There should be a restructuring of the Zifa secretariat, to make its activities more subject to control by the board. There must be models of corporate governance structures which could be usefully adapted.

“The Zifa constitution and rules are poorly drafted and need rewriting in many areas. Zifa should have a special security department to watch for match-fixing and corruption.

“We note with concern the role played by match and player agents. There should be some better system of control over what these individuals do. The system at present seems to be a breeding ground for match-fixing and corruption.”

The committee also said criminal law in Zimbabwe was inadequate to deal with corruption.

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