Zifa to review Asiagate bans

Sikhumbuzo Moyo Senior Sports Reporter
AS part of fulfilling his campaign promise, Zifa president Phillip Chiyangwa’s executive will review the Asiagate bans at their next meeting.

The bans to several players and individuals were imposed by the previous board led by Cuthbert Dube whose mandate was revoked last October.

The property mogul who was elected into office on December 5 last year, said it was time to bring closure to the dark period of the Zimbabwean football and unite the football community.

“In an effort to find closure, I’ll propose that the issue of reviewing Asiagate sanctions be discussed at our next executive committee meeting”, Chiyangwa told the Association’s official website www.zifa.org.zw.

“We understand some players, officials and journalists were banned for their alleged role in the Asiagate scandal.

“We feel it is prudent to review such sanctions and unite members of the football fraternity,” he said.

The term Asiagate referes to the widely publicised match- fixing scandal that involved players and officials of the Zimbabwe national football team between 2007 and 2009. It is alleged that the national team underwent fixing syndicates-sponsored tours in mostly Southeast Asia and were paid varying sums of money to deliberately lose several hastily arranged friendly games by predetermined scores for betting purposes.

A Singaporean national, ex-convict Wilson Raj Perumal, reportedly played a pivotal role in the Asiagate scandal. Perumal has been described as “the world‘s most prolific match-fixer” for his involvement in several cases of match-fixing across six continents.

He has admitted in his book, Kelong Kings, to lead a syndicate that makes millions in profits every year from its fixing activities.

Perumal, in an interview with media giant CNN in 2014 revealed that six Zimbabwean players had agreed to lose to Bosnia-Herzegovina 4-0 during the Dunhill Cup in 1997 for a return of $100,000. The match however ended 2 all after a seemingly accidental goal by Masimba Dinyero.

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