HARARE - The Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) has suspended board member for development Edzai Kasinauyo on suspicion of match-fixing.
In a terse statement last night, Zifa implicated the former Warriors midfielder in a plot to fix this month’s 2017 African Cup of Nations (Afcon) Group L qualifier between Swaziland and Zimbabwe.
The Warriors are scheduled to take on Sihlangu in Mbabane on the weekend of March 23-25 before hosting the same side in the reverse fixture four days later in Harare.
“Zifa would like to inform the football fraternity and the nation at large that following its meeting held in Harare (Tuesday, March 08 2016), it has provisionally suspended executive committee member . . . Kasinauyo,” said the association.
“The suspension has been occasioned by allegations of match-fixing ahead of the 2017 Afcon qualifier match between Zimbabwe and Swaziland.
“... Kasinauyo has been fingered in the match-fixing scam and investigations are going on. The Zifa president... Chiyangwa will issue a statement after consultations with Cosafa, Caf, Fifa and the Government of Zimbabwe.”
Efforts to get a comment from Kasinauyo proved fruitless last night as his phone was not reachable. This latest episode brings back memories of the Asiagate match-fixing scandal which rocked Zimbabwe football in 2009.
Over 100 players and dozens of football officials were implicated in the scandal which saw various national teams embarking on tours to Asia organised by betting syndicates affiliated to serial fixer Wilson Raj Perumal.
In the end Zifa, banned for life 15 individuals while dozens of players were fined for their participation in matches which the Warriors lost by predetermined score lines.
However, new Zifa president Philip Chiyangwa and his new board pardoned all the individuals implicated in the scandal in January this year.
The move was condemned heavily by former Sports minister David Coltart.
“I was privy to a detailed report which outlined the alleged offences committed by the individuals that were implicated in the scandal; prima facie, it appeared to have overwhelming evidence and at the end of the day my sense was that on the overall justice had been done when the offenders were brought to book,” Coltart said.
“If Zifa has unilaterally lifted the bans to accommodate certain individuals then I think that’ll be not just a travesty of justice but a betrayal to the sport and the nation as a whole and if people in future think that they are just going to commit crime and be exonerated cheaply then this would have set a wrong precedence.
“For some reason, the charges were wrongly put then justice would have prevailed but if it’s an attempt to let a few people back then it’s a bad precedence.”