Match-fixing scam rocks Zifa . . . Kasinauyo suspended . . . Zim-Swaziland match targeted

SUSPENDED . . . Board member Edzai Kasinauyo

SUSPENDED . . . Board member Edzai Kasinauyo

Robson Sharuko Senior Sports Editor
ZIFA board member Edzai Kasinauyo was suspended yesterday after the country’s football governing body said it has busted a sophisticated match-fixing syndicate that had targeted, among other games, to manipulate Zimbabwe’s 2017 Nations Cup qualifiers against Swaziland this month.

The match-fixing ring, according to ZIFA, allegedly also features Warriors’ assistant coach Nation Dube, former Warriors’ coach Ian Gorowa, a former high-ranking employee of the association, previously heavily implicated in the Asiagate match-fixing scandal, and two current employees of the country’s football governing body.

The association also claim that a number of South Africa-based players, notably goalkeeper George Chigova and defender Partson Jaure, are also heavily implicated in the scam that has targeted matches in the South African Premiership and the Warriors.

The players are said to have been promised $5 000 each to dance to the tune of the underworld bosses.

An unnamed Italian international, who is resident in South Africa, is also reported to have been the ring- leader of the match-fixing scam and provided funding for the operation that targeted Super Diski matches, the 2015 COSAFA Cup tournament, the 2016 African Nations Championship and matches involving the Warriors.

A dossier that contains tapped telephone conversations, e-mails and sworn affidavits is at the heart of the crackdown which, according to sources who spoke to The Herald last night, involved the participation of the country’s security organs to trap the suspects.

Surveillance on the suspects has been going on for more than a month and, this week, it was decided that there was enough evidence to nail the suspects and, crucially, also ensure that the Warriors’ key 2017 Nations Cup qualifiers against Swaziland, during the Easter weekend, were not compromised.

Sports and Recreation Minister Makhosini Holongwane was yesterday briefed of the ongoing investigation, and the six suspects who are alleged to be part of the match-fixing ring, just before the ZIFA Board met and wielded the axe on Kasinauyo.

The former Zimbabwe international, who has also worked as a player agent specialising in recruiting a number of local footballers into the South African Premiership, was handed his suspension letter yesterday.

He did not attend the ZIFA Board meeting that decided to push him out of domestic football’s leadership.

ZIFA chief executive Jonathan Mashingaidze posted a statement on the association’s official website yesterday confirming Kasinauyo’s suspension and also revealing that investigations were underway.

“The Zimbabwe Football Association Executive Committee would like to inform the football fraternity and the nation at large that following its meeting held in Harare today (Tuesday, March 08 2016), it has provisionally suspended Executive Committee member Edzai Kasinauyo,” Mashingaidze said in his statement.

“The suspension has been occasioned by allegations of match-fixing ahead of the 2017 Orange Africa Cup of Nations qualifier match between Zimbabwe and Swaziland.

“Mr Kasinauyo has been fingered in the match-fixing scam and investigations are going on.

“The ZIFA president, Dr Philip Chiyangwa, will issue a statement after consultations with COSAFA, CAF, FIFA and (the) Government of Zimbabwe.”

The Herald, though, was informed that the scam centres around six officials – Kasinauyo, Gorowa, Dube, a former high-ranking ZIFA employee, two current ZIFA employees – and a number of Zimbabwean international footballers based in South Africa.

Gorowa coached the Warriors as they reached the semi-finals of the 2014 CHAN finals in South Africa, finishing fourth behind bronze medallists Nigeria and the two finalists, Ghana and Libya, where Chigova and Jaure had outstanding tournaments leading to his recruitment by the South African Premiership clubs.

He was also in charge of the Warriors in the 2015 Nations Cup campaign where Zimbabwe crashed out in the preliminary round after losing to Tanzania, going down 0-1 in the first leg in Dar es Salaam and then only drawing 2-2 at the National Sports Stadium.

No comment could be obtained from Gorowa, who has of late been in charge of South African side Moroka Swallows, before walking out on the Dube Birds.

Gorowa had a strained relationship with the previous ZIFA Board, who did not play him for more than nine months of the time he was in charge of the Warriors, and his relationship with them ended in acrimony with the former ZIFA president even accusing the gaffer of allegedly moonlighting as a player agent during his time as national team coach.

But Kasinauyo said he would issue a detailed response after consultations with his lawyers.

“Obviously, this is very sensitive issue, with far-reaching consequences, because it gets to the heart of my integrity, not only as a person but also as a football leader, and I can only confirm that I was handed a suspension today for allegedly being involved in match-fixing,” said Kasinauyo.

“It’s something that I need to discuss with my lawyers before any response that I can make but I have to tell you that I am in shock, total shock, because I have never been involved in such things all my life and the only relief that I have right now is that I am being told there is evidence and that will paint the correct picture and help set me free.”

The match-fixing ring, according to sources, was also very daring they even targeted matches at the 2015 COSAFA Cup, including those that did not involve Zimbabwe’s Warriors, and some matches at the 2016 CHAN finals.

It was not immediately clear whether they succeeded in manipulating the international matches although there was strong suspicion that they could have done so in some of the South African Premiership games that they targeted.

Warriors coach Callisto Pasuwa provided a detailed sworn affidavit in which he is said to have implicated Gorowa, Kasinauyo and his hand-picked assistant, Nation Dube, in the scam and the pressure that was exerted on him to be part of the scandal and how he refused to plunge into the underworld.

Dynamos ‘keeper Tatenda Mukuruva also provided a detailed sworn affidavit in which he narrated how he was approached by the suspects to dance to their tune, in the event he was selected to play for the Warriors in the game against Swaziland, including a week-long stint in South Africa where he would have received coaching by some experts on how to play according to instructions without triggering alarm.

Mukuruva, who turned down the approaches of the suspects, also handed in recorded phone conversations which sources said also implicated Gorowa and Nation Dube.

Yesterday’s dramatic events could not have come at a worse time for Kasinauyo, whose candidature for the ZIFA Board was backed by Warriors’ legend Peter Ndlovu, regarded by many as the greatest Warrior of all time, as he was facing the sack from the domestic football leadership over a controversy related to how he ended up in Zurich, Switzerland, for the FIFA Congress.

Although the FIFA Congress was only for the ZIFA president, Chiyangwa, vice-president Omega Sibanda and chief executive Mashingaidze, whose expenses were paid for by FIFA, Kasinauyo and his fellow board member, Philemon Machana, also travelled to Zurich at the association’s expense.

Machana has reimbursed the association after Chiyangwa was infuriated that the duo raided the depleted coffers, including offering themselves out-of-pocket allowances, using funds that had been set aside for the Mighty Warriors to travel to Tanzania.

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  • Farai

    Drama! But all accused innocent till proven guilty! I also kinda smell a rat! Why are the two present Zifa employees NOT named? But all other accused have been named? If true, it would be utterly sad. Truth though is, match fixing mightily difficult to prove unless you caught someone with their hand deep in the cookie jar! Let’s not be tempted to rush to conclusions but time will reveal whether we should really be concerned or this is all a gimmick by scaremongers at the Haunted House.

  • mazino akaora

    That makes interesting reading. Though one is tempted to dismiss the allegations there is sufficient facts to put the accused to their defence.
    That’s shameful to say the least

  • Sabhuku

    When you think we have hit rock bottom; someone still manages to come up with a stunt that will leave you wondering where we are going as a nation! So who do we trust now; administrators, coaches, current players, former players and even journalists have all been implicated at some stage. Vakomana!!!!

    • Habhurakadhabhura

      Yes including ana Robson Sharuko!!!!!

      • Nyahumbi

        Robson SHARUKO should practice good journalism by naming everyone implicated in the scum.I used to think he was a fairly good journalist. What a shame!!

    • Mabaleka

      Good one Sabhuku. It never rains but it pours…

  • lot chitakasha

    Match fixing and doping are the scourge of modern sport,I am surprised, why would they do it when we are just emerging from the Asiagate scandal?

  • kuda

    Who do we trust now? please can we have a better approach than that of the Asiagate.

  • http://www.siemens.com/ Yadah Gunner

    Why did Mr Machana and Mr Kasinauyo travel to Zurich at the expense of ZIFA…when they were not supposed to have gone? We thought these new guys are after saving money since the ZIFA is broke now they are enjoying flights to Switttzerland…

  • Chiremba

    lchooo!!

  • omahn

    And all along I thought surely we have learnt something from the asiagate scandal we are moving forward now! How wrong I was! The heart is deceitful who knows it?

  • justin matiza

    Just two months in office someone has already started match fixing?lets wait and see the response from the accused.

  • nmthankyou

    Name the other ZIFA board members, why are their names being kept a secret? Who authorized Kasinauyo & Machana to travel to Zurich?

  • N. Sithole

    Let’s hope the allegations are not true. Cuthbert Dube and Ndumiso Gumede were subjects of derision and vilification for daring to bring alleged match fixers to book. They must be having the last laugh now.

  • wezhira wezheve

    who is the Author….Robson Sharauko, finish

  • wezhira wezheve

    I have to admit, i was one of the person who cast stones at Cuthbert Dube. The main reason, was, how they handled the matter. In life, natural justice must prevail, give the other party the chance to air themselves.
    In simple, follow due process, remember investigations are not hearings, when you finish the investigations, call them for hearings. And at the hearings, allow them to defend themselves, and then make a decision. A suspension is not a decision

  • Collin Mackenzie

    This is Zimbabwe for you nothing positive comes out of Zimbabwe,just mara chete chete.

    Really Sad

  • RuffoG

    One scandal after another. Nothing, never, about the game’s development in this country.

  • bodo_kwete

    Chiyankwaaa!!!! Makamboona tsivo vachiita zvinhu zvisina mari mukati here kkkkk

  • Mosad

    TREASON

    • muchovi washoko

      Zvakaoma. It never rains but pours for us

  • Tonderayi Chanakira

    Well done Robson Sharuko for exposing this SCANDAL That goal that Guinea scored against Zimbabwe when the Warriors drew 1-1 with Guinea at Rufaro WASHINGTON ARUBI MUST BE INVESTIGATED as well! Vakomana ava vari kutengwa here? I also watched the last COSAFA matches when Zimbabwe lost 4 1 to Namibia CHIGOVA akatengesa here? Continue investigating this scandal Robson Sharuko We the genuine supporters of Zimbabwean football are indeed TIRED for being taken for a RIDE by these CORRUPT individuals! TRUE and Dedicated Warriors team supporter! Tonderayi Chanakira

    • Collin Mackenzie

      I was there at the game Guinea vs Zimbabwe.

      You so right that goal had bribe written all over it, I even witnessed the Diski Challenge final and Freestate Star sold that game to Golden Arrows.

      We pay and travel only to be taken for ride for the love of the game.
      These players out play and out perform in South Africa,when called up to the Zimbabwe national team they play rubbish.

      Billat is one of those players that small boy is full of
      s**t man
      Those are not warriors those boys are sellouts

  • Collin Mackenzie

    Hay hay wena sukaaaaa maaaan are u sick in the head ?
    Where does Zanu PF come in on this? I think you have no clue of Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe football.
    Please shut up man.
    Have you ever attended these games?
    We have so shut up and leave
    Zanu PF out of this please.

  • [email protected]

    smear campaign,actually pasuwa could be the guilty one together with sharuko and mashingaidze

  • cephas

    fix the economy then everything will be kae