Saturday, November 19, 2016


What a match-fixing scandal!

Zimbabwe’s 2017 Orange Africa Cup of Nations soccer qualifies in Gabon was once again marred by another clandestine match-fixing scandal. That was unearthed prior to the Group L encounter where Zimbabwean players were to rub shoulders with Swaziland. The former Zimbabwe international, Edzai Kasinauyo was implicated in the match-fixing scandal. For this reason, Kasinauyo was instantly suspended on pending investigations. The Zimbabwe Football Association headed by the business magnate, Phillip Chiyangwa boastfully indicated that it had evidence that Kasinauyo was working with popular Asian match fixers to rig the outcome of the match pitting Zimbabwe and Swaziland that was slated for 25th of March this year. As Kasinauyo was named in the match-fixing scandal, thorough investigations were conducted. Zimbabwe Republic Police had to summon the national team’s coach (The Warriors) to testify in the case that had claimed Edzai Kasinauyo who had been on the Zifa board as well as Pasuwa’s Assistant, Nation Dube. Despite investigations reached an advanced stage, Kasinauyo and company who were shell-shocked stuck to allegation denial insisting that they had made no contact with anyone in Asia. The former Zifa Chief Executive Officer, Henrietta Rushwaya was also dragged into the matter. Unfortunately, that brought no fruition but only capitalism proved that it sucks from all angles of the status quo.

Going back memory lane, Zimbabwean soccer was once again hard-hit by another similar multimillion-dollar betting scandal in Asia named. Around 80 players were implicated in a major match-fixing scandal that rocked local football in 2012. The coaches and players were accused of receiving payments from an Asian betting syndicate - involving the now convicted and imprisoned guru Wilson Raj Parumal - to lose friendly matches on trips to Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Oman, Jordan, Bulgaria, China, Yemen and Thailand between 2006 and 2011. 15 players and officials received life bans and more were suspended.

 It was insane for these players and their leaders fooled everybody in Zimbabwe pretending that they had the country at heart yet there were after clandestine activities with global match fixers. Even President Robert Mugabe used to treat them to state banquets before sending them out on national duty.  The episode is the sending of the fake Warriors team to Malaysia and what transpired at the Merdeka Cup that is Malaysian tournament of independence celebration. The then famous world match fixer Wilson Raj Perumal, is said to have been in charge of the team and their welfare including paying the players to throw away matches. Team officials were offered 5-Star Treatment including chauffeur rides, drinks, and sex. Fingered as the engine room to this madness, the then former Zifa CEO, Rushwaya was arrested by police and hauled to court to answer charges on match fixing involving 11 counts of concealing transactions from a principal, two counts of fraud and 15 counts of bribery involving $1,000,000. She was remanded on $500 bail. 13 players were banned for life and nearly 70 received their suspension for their part in the then Asiagate scandal.

 However, this was put to a halt and everybody was spared from the noose following the intervention of the world body, FIFA, led by the then Seth Blatter. Fifa cited irregularities on how the investigations were carried out thereby refusing to sanction the penalties. What a mad system that siphoned a scandal that brought a devastating impact on the now declined Zimbabwe’s football standards. The Zimbabwean government and its Zifa should be aware that soccer is a big business project being cogged by the head of imperialism that doesn’t value concrete investigation findings. Not that in this unfair world, even if the players are well paid by their governments, offers by those involved in soccer betting are exorbitant and ever attracts the watchful eyes of wealth gathering soccer players. To express this, read about 1915 British football betting scandal

Bigboy Musemwa

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