Zifa meets Safa over match-fixing

HARARE - Zifa president Philip Chiyangwa is today scheduled to travel to Cape Town to meet his South Africa Football Association (Safa) counterpart Danny Jordaan regarding the latest match-fixing scandal.

Chiyangwa will be joined by Zifa chief executive officer Jonathan Mashingaidze and legal representative Itayi Ndudzo for the trip.

The Daily News understands Sports minister Makhosini Hlongwane is also expected to be part of the delegation but efforts to get comment from his office proved fruitless.

The Zimbabwean delegation is expected to meet with South African Sports minister Fikile Mbalula, Jordaan and other senior Safa officials.

“We are travelling to South Africa. We are going to meet with the Safa and . . . Mbalula,” Chiyangwa said.

“We spoke to them and they said we should come. This is a serious matter and we are not leaving any stone unturned.

“We hope the trip will help us as we try to bring the perpetrators to book.”

Zifa last week suspended board member Edzai Kasinauyo alongside Warriors assistant coach Nation Dube, following allegations of trying to fix the outcome of the upcoming 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers match between Zimbabwe and Swaziland later this month.

Former Zifa CEO Henrietta Rushwaya and ex-Warriors coach Ian Gorowa have also been alleged to be key players in the scandal which was being orchestrated by Wilson Raj Perumal’s young brother only known as the “Chief” from his South African base.

Zifa have also alleged that matches during 2015 Cosafa Castle Cup in South Africa, along with the 2016 African Nations Championships tournament in Rwanda could have been manipulated.

There are also indications that the match fixers targeted Zimbabwean players to fix South African Absa Premiership matches.

This is the reason why the Zimbabwe delegation is keen to share notes with their Mzansi counterparts to ensure there is a concerted effort to curb match-fixing. 

According to the details of the scandal which have emerged, “whistleblower” Leeroy Waguta played a leading role in brokering deals between Zimbabwean players based in South Africa and match-fixing cartels.

Some of the players approached by Waguta include Pretoria University goalkeeper Washington Arubi and defender Partson Jaure.

The intention was for the duo to fix Absa Premiership matches involving their club thereby ensuring huge pickings for the match fixers in South Africa.

Arubi and Jaure are reported to have turned down Waguta’s enticements.

The cartel also approached Polokwane City goalkeeper George Chigova to fix Super Diski matches.

Turning to the Warriors encounters against Swaziland, the match fixers had targeted Dynamos goalkeeper Tatenda Mukuruva.

They hoped to entice Mukuruva so that he would allow Swaziland to score two goals in the first leg in Mbabane on March 25.

Sihlangu were also supposed to win the reverse fixture four days later in Harare but Mukuruva alerted Warriors coach Kalisto Pasuwa.

Pasuwa and Mukuruva notified Zifa of the advances from the match fixers before writing and signing affidavits, which helped smoke out Waguta.

Meanwhile, Absa Premiership side Polokwane City yesterday admitted they were concerned about the alleged involvement of their players — George Chigova and Lebogang Motumi — in the match-fixing scandal.

“As a club, it is of concern that we are hearing about these match-fixing allegations, so far we have spoken to George and he says he has no idea where it is all coming from.

“Secondly, we will look into the matter because these are serious allegations,” says Tumelo Makgoara, the City spokesperson.


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