Criminalise match fixing - Gumede

HARARE - Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) vice-president Ndumiso Gumede has implored Parliament to endorse a law that criminalises match-fixing.

Zifa in 2012 banned for life over 15 individuals in the Asiagate match-fixing scandal and found close to 100 others guilty of throwing away matches in the Far East between 2007 and 2009, although the later were later pardoned. 

The sentences are however on the verge of collapse after receiving no stamp of approval from the world football governing body Fifa.

“As I speak to you right now the law in Zimbabwe on bribery is dead,” Gumede told a portfolio committee on sport, arts and culture yesterday.

“It’s difficult to prosecute these people. They walk free today because there is no law.  In other countries these people would be languishing in jail.

“Right now one of them is even trying to sue one of our officials, yet it’s them who should be in Chikurubi. We lobby the committee to enact a law on bribery and match-fixing. We have a committee that has been trained on match-fixing it is prepared to work with this August House.”

Meanwhile, Zifa came under fire from Mozowe West legislator Ray Kezembe, who questioned the reason for the association’s huge debt and battered image that continue to drive away prospective sponsors.

“We are currently seating on a $5.6 million debt,” admitted Gumede.

“When we took over, on paper the debt was $600 000, but not sooner had we taken over had some companies started coming in saying you owe us this amount from 2007.

“We even had a former national team coach manipulating his contract so that he could be paid more!”

Gumede said the local football governing body will venture into various activities to generate income, including commercialising the Zifa Village.

“We will be launching a dollar per person initiative,” he said.

“Zimbabwe has more than 10 million people; with about six million being adults surely a dollar from every adult would sweep away our $5.6 million debt.”

Comments (1)

You can't criminalise match fixing in a nation where all ills of amassing wealth (money) are legalized and approved.

Mukanya - 14 February 2014

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