New low for Zimbabwean football

JOHANNESBURG - The ghost of the Asiagate has hardly died down and Zimbabwe was this week hit by news of match-fixing again.

In a damning revelation, it came to light this week that some top officials, including administrators, coaches and players have allegedly been “dining” with the match-fixing cartel and had they not been nipped in the bud, could have plunged the nation deeper into another crisis, hardly before scars of Asiagate have dried up.

Supporters of the game from home and across the globe have been wondering why Zimbabwe, with its all big names in the game have failed to live up to their ranking.

Another match-fixing allegation might point to the reason why the Warriors have failed to hit peak form in all the competitions they play in.

The way the country lost at the Chan tournament brought fears that despite having one of the best playing personnel, Zimbabwe will struggle in big match environments.

Now it has come to light that those matches might have been tempered with and might have been pre-determined by members of the match-fixing underworld.

Which makes one wonder whether this might not only be a tip of the iceberg, regarding some of the matches involving our own Warriors and our players?

Apart from the inconsistency of the Zimbabwe senior football national team, one will now begin to put one plus one together on the erratic behaviour of some of former and current top players.

Is it not possible that there are several other games which will come to light once the investigators get to the bottom of this matter? Very possible!

For starters, some performances of some our football stars here have left me baffled, though it might just have been a genuine dip in form.

There is one goalkeeper who I once vouched for in one of my columns here many moons ago. I wrote then that this star was using Mzansi as a transit to go to the big leagues overseas.

But since his arrival here some three seasons ago, has blown hot and cold and had to be loaned to some average club to get game time.

And even his performance at this club has left me with more questions than answers. He is one of those suspected to have been involved in throwing games.

But why have Zimbabwean people sunk to such lows? Is it because of the biting economic times?

Dishonesty is something which we used to hear of certain West African people but the bug seems to have hit home finally, and with a big bang.

Wherever you go now, people are now talking of Zimbabwe as the new African headquarters of match-fixing.

Talk here is that it will now take exceptional talent for teams to think of signing a Zimbabwean player in the face of the looming crisis.

One thing though, I need to compliment new Zifa president Philip Chiyangwa for taking the bull by its horns.

The way he swiftly handled the matter, somehow stopped a crisis of massive proportion that would have sunk our game to new lows.

But my caution to him was his urgency to forgive those named in the Asiagate scandal.

When the new fiasco is completed, don’t be surprised that most of those fingered in the Asiagate will most likely appear again.

Remember there was talk two years ago that some players were seen leaving the offices of the chief architect of Asiagate.

That matter was dismissed but looking back, Zifa CEO Jonathan Mashingaidze might have had a good case in raising the alarm.

My appeal to the law enforcement forces is to ask for banking details and lifestyle audit of all those suspected of involvement in match fixing issues. It will unravel a can of worms.

Zimbabwe football doesn’t need such people. Corruption of any form has no place in this beautiful game.

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