|Asiagate: Zifa board to name cleared players|
|Saturday, 05 May 2012 00:00|
THE anxious wait could finally be over for the first bunch of 30 players who had been implicated in the Asiagate scam as Zifa are likely to unveil the lid over them after today’s board meeting. The Zifa board suspended nearly 100 players and officials implicated in the Asiagate match-fixing scandal and the first 30 people have been exonerated from any wrong-doing by the Independent Ethics Committee.
Initially the Zifa board had been expected remove the lid on the group of players and officials, who have been cleared, last month.
But the association kept on withholding to the names after the board meeting was deferred when only Zifa president Cuthbert Dube and Premier Soccer League chairman Twine Phiri were available.
An Independent Ethics Committee, chaired by retired Supreme Court judge, Ahmed Ebrahim, last month indicated that the first bunch of players cleared of the match-fixing allegations will be named soon.
The suspended players and officials had been mentioned in the Asiagate report complied by Zifa vice-president Ndumiso Gumede and his probe team. Some of the players who will not be exonerated are liable for criminal prosecution although the committee is still to interview some of the players who were named, especially those who are playing in foreign leagues.
According to a circular of the agenda sent to all Zifa board members yesterday, an update of the Asiagate report will be the first item on the agenda.
The Zifa board are under pressure to close the chapter so that interim Warriors coach Rahman Gumbo will have more options to assemble his squad for his next game.
The Warriors will kick-start their campaign for a place at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil with a home tie against Guinea on June 3.
Today’s indada will also deliberate on the national team’s preparations towards the 2013 African Nations qualifiers.
While the Asiagate scandal has attracted a lot of attention, the Zifa board will also get an update of the Centralgate – the local match-fixing probe.
Last month Zifa commissioned a three-member team of Sello Nare, Custom Kachambwa and Gladmore Muzambi to deal specifically with the issues of match-fixing raised from the Zifa Central Region.
Already two Zifa board members - Patrick Hokonya and Gift Banda - have been suspended from the board, pending investigations.
Banda and Hokonya were accused by referee Cosmos Nyoni of influencing the appointment of match officials for Central Region Division One League matches last year.
Also on the agenda today is the case in which Kentaro, the agents who organised the historic international friendly between Zimbabwe and Brazil at the National Sports Stadium, are seeking US$600 000 from the association.