HARARE – Former Midlands governor and ex-football administrator Cephas Msipa while backing Zifa’s efforts to rid Zimbabwean football of corruption, pleaded with the association to show mercy on players found guilty of match-fixing in the Asiagate scam.
Msipa, who ran a football club in the years before Independence in 1980, quoted from William Shakespeare’s book, The Merchant of Venice, in his plea for clemency on players slapped with life bans after being found guilty of match-fixing and illegal betting.
He was delivering a speech at a function in the Midlands last week.
“We don’t want people who put the game of football into disrepute. People must learn from Peter Ndlovu, who managed to represent his country with distinction without being implicated in match-fixing,” Msipa said.
“I wanted (Cuthbert) Dube (Zifa president) to be here himself so that I can talk to him personally but anyway, go and give him part of my speech because I would have wanted to tell him my feelings over the Asiagate punishments.
“Shakespeare, in the Merchant of Venice, said quality of mercy is not strained, it falls gently from heaven and in the same vein, Zifa must show mercy to the players because this will bless them and players as well. So Jonathan Mashingaidze (Zifa CEO), go and present my speech to Mr Dube.”
Three players — Method Mwanjali, Thomas Sweswe and Guthrie Zhokinyi — were slapped with life bans, while several others are expected to receive sentences ranging between six months and five years. – Sports Writer