Zimbabwean football hit by another match-fixing scandal

Wednesday March 9 2016

The Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) headquarters in Harare. PHOTO | FILE |

The Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) headquarters in Harare. PHOTO | FILE |  AFP

By KITSEPILE NYATHI
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NATION CORRESPONDENT IN HARARE

The Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) has suspended one of its board members on allegations that he was part of a syndicate trying to fix the country’s upcoming African Cup of Nations qualifier against Swaziland.

Edzai Kasinauyo, a former Zimbabwean international, was provisionally suspended on Tuesday pending investigations, Zifa said in a statement.

Zimbabwe will play Swaziland in the Group “L” encounter on March 25 and Zifa said it had evidence that Kasinauyo was working with other unnamed people to fix the match.

“The suspension has been occasioned by allegations of match fixing ahead of the 2017 African Nations Cup qualifier match between Zimbabwe and Swaziland,” Zifa said.

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

“Zifa president Phillip Chiyangwa will issue a statement after consultations with Cosafa, Caf, Fifa and the government of Zimbabwe.”

Kasinauyo has denied the allegations, saying he was never informed about the Zifa investigations.

“I am just as shocked as everyone else as to where this is coming from,” he told NewsDay newspaper.

“I have not made any contact with anyone in Asia about the match and to make matters worse, I have learnt about those allegations from people that have seen the statement.

“I was not told about the Zifa meeting and I was not informed about the allegations. I am trying to contact other board members to find out what’s going on.

Zimbabwe recently pardoned several officials and players who were implicated in a major match-fixing scandal that rocked local football in 2012.

Thirteen players had been banned for life for match-fixing and another 69 received suspensions for their part in what became known as the Asiagate scandal.

However, Fifa refused to sanction the penalties citing the manner the investigations were carried out.

The scandal precipitated a decline in Zimbabwean football standards, with the national team failing to qualify for major tournaments.

Zimbabwe and Swaziland top the group which also includes Malawi and Guinea.