Fifa Ethics Committee nails Musavengana

HARARE - The Fifa Ethics Committee has recommended a life ban for former Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) programmes officer Jonathan Musavengana for his involvement in the 2010 World Cup friendly internationals fixing scandal.

The Ethics Committee also urged a life ban for former Togo coach Banna Tchanile and a six-year ban from all football activities for ex-South Africa Football Association (Safa) president Kirsten Nematandani.

“The deputy chairman of the investigatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee, Djimbaraye Bourngar, has concluded his investigation into the activities of...Nematandani,... Musavengana, former official of the Zifa, and...Tchanile, former coach of the national team of Togo,’’ Fifa said in a statement yesterday.

“As chief of investigation,...Bourngar submitted the respective reports, including the relevant recommendations together with the investigation files, to the adjudicatory chamber of the Ethics Committee, which is chaired by Hans-Joachim Eckert.

“The investigations into the three individuals were initiated in relation to their specific conduct in the organisation of several international friendly matches played in South Africa in 2010.

“In his final report, the chief of investigation recommends the sanction of a ban for no less than six years and a fine of no less than CHF 10 000 ($10 377.38) for...Nematandani for an apparent violation of art. 13 pars 1-4 (General Rules of Conduct), art. 15 (Loyalty) and art. 18 (Duty of Disclosure, Cooperation and Reporting) of the Fifa Code of Ethics (FCE).

“Furthermore, he recommends the sanction of a lifelong ban for both Musavengana and Tchanile for the apparent breach of art. 13 pars 1-4 and art. 21 pars 1 and 3 (Bribery and corruption) of the FCE.”

Musavengana is alleged to be part of an Asian betting syndicate linked to serial match-fixer Wilson raj Perumal that organised matches and referees for a series of friendly internationals in the run up to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

The Warriors were involved in one of the matches when they took on Japan in a friendly international at the Outeniqua Stadium on June 10, 2010 in George.

The match, played over three 30-minute periods, finished goalless as both sides failed to find the back of the net.

At that time Musavengana had already severed ties with Zifa after he had been suspended for his involvement in the Asiagate match-fixing scandal.

Between a period of 2006 and 2009, the Zimbabwe national teams took part in fixed matches arranged by Perumal’s syndicate in various Asian countries.

The former Zifa board led by Cuthbert Dube alleged that ex-chief executive officer Henrietta Rushwaya and Musavengana were the brains of the operation.

Zifa conducted an investigation which culminated in life bans for 15 individuals including Musavengana and Rushwaya but Fifa refused to endorse the bans.

Fifa was not satisfied with the methods Zifa had used to conduct the investigations while important documents were also not filed properly.

This gave Musavengana the chance to continue working with the Asian betting syndicate.

In March this year, Fifa banned former Safa chief executive officer Leslie Sedibe for five years and fined him CHF 20 000 ($20 755.93) for his role in the match-fixing scandal.

Former Safa officials Steve Goddard and Adeel Carelse were each banned for two years while former Safa executive committee member and head of referees Lindile Kika was banned for six years last October.

The betting syndicate had connived with the Safa officials to arrange friendly matches for Bafana Bafana against Thailand, Bulgaria, Colombia and Guatemala which were all fixed.

Last month, the world football governing body also handed a two-year ban to the vice-president of the Equatorial Guinea Football Association Gustavo Ndong Edu.

It is alleged Edu attempted to offer money to the match officials handling 2016 Africa Women’s Cup of Nations qualifier between Equatorial Guinea and Mali in April.

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