We wasted time on Asiagate - Gumede

HARARE - Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) vice-president Ndumiso Gumede has admitted that the current Zifa administration “wasted a lot of time” concentrating on the Asiagate match-fixing probe during their term of office.

Zifa in 2012 banned for life over 15 individuals fingered in the biggest scandal ever to hit Zimbabwean football.

Almost 100 local footballers were also found guilty of receiving sums of money from an illegal Asian betting syndicate between 2007 and 2009 to lose fixed matches by predetermined score-lines.

After details of the scandal started to emerge, Zifa ordered a probe team chaired by Gumede to look into the matches.

The players were later pardoned by Zifa and ordered to pay varying admission of guilty fines.

"We wasted a lot of time concentrating on Asiagate,” Gumede said during a tour of the Zifa Village yesterday by stakeholders. “We don't need to hear more about Asiagate, we exposed it and that's it.

"Asiagate took us many years, as a country we now need laws to criminalise match-fixing."

Zifa last year approached Fifa to endorse the bans so as to have worldwide effect. The world football ruling body however turned down Zifa, saying they needed more evidence criminating evidence to make such a decision.

Meanwhile Zifa is set to receive $100 000 from Fifa for the completion of the Zifa Village.

"We are set to receive money this month for the completion of this project. Fifa is happy with what we are doing in as far as this project is concerned.

“The village is a sports facility which we also want to make little money from, we want to commercialize this place.

“People have an impression that Zifa has sticky fingers, but the Zifa Village and Conference Centre is the hallmark of football development in the country and people must praise the current president for that," added Gumede.

Zifa have completed the refurbishment of the Zifa Village with the construction of camping facilities and a conference centre.