Zifa impose life bans


HARARE – The Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) has finally cracked the whip and slapped life bans on 15 individuals fingered as the chief architects of the Asiagate match-fixing scandal in a dramatic end to the widely-publicised scam.

The bans came into force yesterday.

Top of the list of the banned football personalities is former Zifa chief executive Henrietta Rushwaya and Jonathan Musavengana, a former programmes officer of the local football governing body.

The two are widely regarded as the masterminds of the match-fixing and illegal betting of football matches involving the Zimbabwe national teams in Asia between 2007 and 2009.

Zimbabwe’s most decorated football coach, Sunday Chidzambwa, who currently coaches South African Premiership side Black Leopards, Swaziland-based coach Rodwell Dhlakama and local player agent Kudzai Shaba have also been handed life bans for their part in the biggest scandal ever to hit Zimbabwean football.

Former Warriors captain Method Mwanjali, Bidvest Wits defender Thomas Sweswe and Dynamos captain Guthrie Zhokinyi lead a list of players who have been forced prematurely to end their football careers.

Also condemned for life are axed CAPS United goalkeeper Edmore Sibanda, former Railstars and Dynamos defender Danisa Phiri as well as former national side coach Emmanuel Nyahuma.

The banned-for-life list also contains sports journalists Robson Sharuko and Hope Chizuzu, although it is unclear how Zifa will enforce the ban on the two scribes.

Former Premier Soccer League official Godfrey Japajapa and former national team fitness trainer Thompson Matenda complete the blacklist.

Meanwhile, Sudan-based striker Edward Sadomba, Kaizer Chiefs striker Kingstone Nkhata and Maritzburg forward Cuthbert Malajila are the standout players on the list of 16 players and officials who have been spared the axe.

Also exonerated are Kaizer Chiefs defender Lincoln Zvasiya, Poland-based Costa Nhamoinesu, former CAPS United goalkeeper Energy Murambadoro, Dynamos fullback David Kutyauripo and CAPS United striker Washington Pakamisa.

The other exonerated players are Gilbert Banda, Richard Mteki, Willard Manyatera, Brighton Tuwaya as well as former Warriors team doctor Edward Chagonda and two former Zifa, officials Cyril Mukweva and Solomon Makuvaro.

In a statement signed by Zifa president Cuthbert Dube, the football mother body said: “The next batch with names of players and officials who have been banned for ten (10) years will be released next week, with the subsequent bans made public in the following weeks.”

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