Duped Ghanaians’ case gets nasty

THE Cameroonian agent, Olivier Urieley, of African Management Football, who worked with Tinashe Gomba to bring four Ghanaians to a non-existent team in Chiredzi has accused his partner of misusing over US$1 000 he sent to him for rentals and upkeep of the players during their trials in Zimbabwe.

GARIKAI MAFIRAKUREVA

In an interview with NewsDay sport Oliveir said he was misled into believing that there was a topflight soccer team in Zimbabwe looking for players.

“I don’t have time to waste with Gomba because he is a crook. I don’t want any agent who cheats players. Those are professional players and they should report Gomba to the police. I gave him a lot of money for the upkeep of the players, but I am told they never got anything. I gave him over US$1 000,” he said.

“I thought Gomba was a genuine agent until I started to hear all these stories. I am a businessman so I don’t want to be involved in deals that tarnish my image.”

The four Ghanaians, who arrived in Zimbabwe from Accra on January 16, 2020, are still stuck in the sugar-producing town of Chiredzi after President Emmerson Mnangagwa decreed a nationwide lockdown as a safety measure to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The four – Peter Tibila (24), Francis Adjetey (23), John Adu Poku (22) and Nelson Adenyo (23) – are holed up in the Makondo area of Tshovani suburb. According to the players ,they were made to believe that there was a well-paying team called Khaya Africa FC.

They were told that the club was paying between US$1 500 and US$2 000 plus a winning bonus of US$500 including signing-on fees of US$10 000. Francis who was plying his for a topflight club in Ghana immediately dumped his club for trials in Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) spokesperson, Xolisani Gwesela, said he had verified with Zifa Masvingo and was told the letter of invitation for the players was forged.

“I have verified with Zifa Masvingo provincial chairperson Naboth Magwizi and he has indicated that the letter is a forged document because Wellington Muchemwa denied ever signing such a letter. He says that his signature was cut and pasted on that letter without his knowledge. Muchemwa was shown the letter by Magwizi and he says he knows nothing about it .

“As Zifa, we do not condone such criminal behaviour and Masvingo province will give us further details on the matter. We will await a report from Masvingo province to decide the way forward.”

Magwizi said Zifa wanted to clear its name and the board had already put an investigating team on the ground. He went on to say both Energy Zava and Gomba, who were implicated in the scam, were in the Masvingo Zifa board.

“Those guys are in the provincial board. Zava is the vice-chairperson and Gomba is board member (finance). Because of the allegations involving Zifa officials, we have decided to conduct an investigation to clear our name as Zifa. We will be in a position to take action after the final report,” said Magwizi.

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