THE Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) insist suspended vice-president Kenny Marange has a case to answer even if the Ethics Committee led by Retired judge Justice Ahmed Ebrahim observed that they could “make no findings against” Marange and three other referees. REPORT BY SIMBA RUSHWAYA GROUP SPORTS EDITOR
In report dated October 11 2012 titled “Asiagate Report”, the Ebrahim Commission document says on page 124: “We can make no findings against referees Cosmas Nyoni, Christopher Manuel, Kenny Marange and Masimba Chihowa.”
But speaking from his “rural” home yesterday, Zifa vice-president Ndumiso Gumede said the former match officials were not yet off the hook.
“If you read that report carefully, you will realise that they said they did not complete all their investigations. In that regard investigations are continuing. They (committee) said they wanted time to investigate more. Did they mention Nyatanga (Wellington — former Zifa president) in their report?” asked Gumede.
Asked if Zifa was now going against the recommendations of its own independent body, Gumede hung up his phone.
Marange said he would enquire with Zifa before making the next step. Marange, Chihowa, Nyoni and Manuel are being accused of travelling to Asia to officiate matches without following proper procedures.
But in his defence, Marange, who was then a practicing referee, argued that his appointments were above board because he took part in the trips after being seconded by Zifa and the then Zifa Referees’ Committee chairman Gladmore Muzambi.
Marange was the man in the middle in the match pitting hosts Bahrain and Kenya at Bahrain National Stadium on August 26 2009 and was being assisted by Chihowa and Nyoni. The Mutare-based official would again take charge of another match between Bahrain and Togo on November 2 2009.
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On both occasions, Marange alleged, they were getting the greenlight from Zifa and Muzambi.
The football governing body recently appeared to have concluded Asiagate investigations after fining most of the players implicated.
Earlier on, they had banned players and officials for life, among them, former Zifa chief executive Henrietta Rushwaya, ex-Warriors coach Sunday Chidzambwa, Guthrie Zhokinyi of Dynamos and South Africa-based Method Mwanjali, for being the alleged masterminds of match-fixing and betting in Asia.