Asiagate bans lifted

HARARE - Nyasha Mushekwi and Washington Arubi lead a list of Zimbabwean players who breathed a sigh of relief yesterday following news that their bans in the Asiagate match-fixing scam have been lifted.

The Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) yesterday freed 66 of the 70 players and officials who were slapped with five-year bans and below after being found guilty of match-fixing and illegal betting.

However, the 15 individuals and four officials slapped with life and 10-year bans remain blacklisted.

South Africa-based players are the biggest beneficiaries of the amnesty.

Mamelodi Sundowns striker Mushekwi and University of Pretoria goalkeeper Washington Arubi had their one-year bans lifted unconditionally.

Ajax Cape Town midfielder Tafadzwa Rusike was given a one-year wholly suspended sentence on condition that a fine of $2 000 is paid.

University of Pretoria midfielder Lionel Mtizwa’s three-year ban was also wholly suspended. He was fined $3 000.  

Moroka Swallows fullback Gilbert Mapemba, who had been suspended for one year, will have to pay a price of $2 000 for his freedom.

Ramson Zhuwawo of AmaZulu will pay $2 000 after his one-year ban was lifted.

Former Warriors assistant coach Joey Antipas was perhaps the most relieved man in Zimbabwean football yesterday after his five-year ban was wholly suspended.

Ernest Sibanda, the former Warriors manager, also had his five-year sanction removed.
 
Zifa, however, upheld its six-month ban on former Warriors coach Norman Mapeza.

A large contingent of FC Platinum players, whose involvement in the Asiagate scandal looked certain to derail the Zvishavane-based club, were a relived lot after the reprieve announcement yesterday.

Defender Qadir Amini, whose father passed away this week, had his two-year ban wholly suspended upon payment of $ 2 000.

The other Platinum players who walked free men are Khumbulani Banda, Thabani Kamusoko, Zeph Ngodzo, Tafadzwa Dube, Daniel Veremu and Benjamin Marere.

Former Monomotapa official Solomon Mugavazi and Shabanie coach Luke Masomere remain banned.

The Dynamos duo of defenders of George Magariro and Ocean Mushure were also pardoned.

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