ZIFA CEO Henrietta Rushwaya was damned on Monday after a probe into match fixing allegations against the Zimbabwe national soccer team found she was the “core central point” in the scam which involved referees, players and journalists.
ZIFA board member Ndumiso Gumede was assigned to lead a probe into an unsanctioned trip by the Warriors to Thailand and Malaysia in December last year.
On the trip, Zimbabwe lost 3-0 to Thailand; beat the Malaysian champions Selangor 3-0 before suffering a 6-0 drubbing by Syria.
In sensational revelations which will send tremours in the world of football, the ZIFA Board of Enquiry found:
a Malaysian betting syndicate paid Zimbabwe players US$1,500 each to lose by a pre-agreed score-line.
a member of the syndicate sat on the Zimbabwe bench and gave instructions when to concede goals.
ZIFA programmes officer Jonathan Musavengana received “a bunch of US dollars” from a representative of the syndicate.
players feared for their lives when a representative of the betting syndicate claimed they had cost him US$1 million after losing the first game 3-0 instead of 1-0.
Rushwaya was in on the scam.
the match-fixing may have been going on for three years, starting with the 2007 Merdeka Cup held to commemorate Malaysian National Day.
Method Mwanjali, tipped to be the new national team captain after Benjani Mwaruwari stood down, negotiated payments with the betting syndicate.
an agent of the syndicate was at the Warriors’ camp ahead of a friendly match with Japan just before the start of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa in June.
most of the players involved in the corruption “now pose a big problem” for the national team.
The devastating report will be studied in Zimbabwe, Japan, Malaysia, Syria and Thailand. It will also attract the attention of the Confederation of African Football and FIFA, and could lead to criminal charges.
Rushwaya and Musavengana are already suspended over the controversial trip to Thailand at the end of December last year.
Gumede’s committee said the trip was not sanctioned by the ZIFA Council and the Sports and Recreation Commission but had been arranged by Rushwaya and Musavengana.