BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
PREMIER Soccer League side Herentals have paid a huge price for alleged match fixing during their league match against army side Black Rhinos last year after they were relegated following a ruling by the Premier Soccer League Disciplinary Committee which found them guilty and forfeited the results of the match in question.
Herentals beat Black Rhinos 3-0 in that league encounter played on October 19 last year and the forfeiture of the results means that the Students will be left with 39 points, below the relegation cut-off point.
This means that Chapungu, who had been the best-placed relegated side with 40 points, will bounce back into the elite league to take Herentals’ position.
In addition, Herentals were fined real time gross settlement (RTGS) $300 000 while team manager Oliver Chirega was banned from any football-related activities for a period of 10 years from January 1, 2020 for his involvement in the scandal.
Chirenga was also fined $20 000.
According to the judgment by the Premier Soccer League Disciplinary Committee, Herentals and Chirenga were charged for attempting to influence the outcome of their league match against Black Rhinos FC which was played at the National Sports Stadium on October 19, 2019.
“The Club was found guilty of contravening Order 31.1.3 of the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League Rules and Regulations which makes it an offence on the part of a club where:
“Its players, officials, servant or duly authorised (expressed or implied) representatives, for any corrupt, dishonesty or lawful purpose in connection with a game played under the auspices of the league, or in connection with the affairs of the league, give, offer or promise, whether directly or indirectly any inducement, reward or bribe of whatsoever nature, to anybody whatsoever,” reads part of the judgment.
PSL said should Herentals fail to comply with the penalty slapped on them, they would not be allowed to participate in any football-related activities for the next 10 years.
“In addition, in line with Article 18(2) of the Fifa Disciplinary Code 2019, the results of the Herentals FC vs Black Rhinos FC match played on the 19th of October 2019 be and is hereby forfeited. The fine of RTGS $300 000, together with the full costs of the hearing, shall be paid by the club by 31 January 2020.
“In the event that the club does not comply with any part of this penalty, the club shall not be allowed to participate in any football or football-related activities for the next ten (10) years. The current owners of the club will have to show cause why the same penalty should not be imposed on them,” the judgment read.
A Herentals official yesterday said they would appeal the judgment.
The PSL Disciplinary Committee judgment will be sweet news for the Midlands community who were sure to miss out on watching premier league action after their team Chapungu had been demoted to the lower division.