Sikhumbuzo Moyo Senior Sports Reporter
ZIFA technical director Nelson Matongorere has been found guilty of improper conduct for illegally voting in the world coach and player awards last year.
The verdict was delivered on Monday by the five-member Zifa disciplinary committee chaired by Andrew Musengezi.
This comes several months after allegations of improper conduct were levelled against him for voting in the World Player of the Year poll last year.
According to the Zifa legal advisor Ralph Maganga, sentence is expected to be handed down to the burly former Zimbabwe Young Warriors gaffer in two weeks time after both parties have submitted their closing submissions.
“He was found guilty of all the charges and as per requirements his defence counsel and Zifa are expected to prepare their mitigatory and aggravating statements for submission. Sentence will be in two weeks time,” said Maganga.
The Zifa legal expert said until an appropriate sentence has been handed down, Matongorere would remain a Zifa employee.
Agreed facts are that Matongorere overstepped his authority when he voted for the World Player of the Year as well as the Coach of the Year.
He also stands accused of having a hand in the disappearance of Caf C licence certificates last year.
Following the embarrassing incident in which an unknown person voted as the then Zimbabwe Warriors coach Rahman Gumbo and captain Esrom Nyandoro, Zifa immediately set up an investigation committee led by Zifa board member competitions, Benedict Moyo.
The committee also investigated an issue where a former Warriors coach was caught copying during a Caf B Licence coaching course examination.
The Zifa technical director allegedly disqualified Victoria Falls-based Dumile Mpofu from whom the coach was copying.
Matongorere’s name appeared on the Fifa list of panellists as the Warriors captain who voted for Real Madrid and Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, Gerard Pique of Barcelona and Spain and the eventual winner, Barcelona and Argentina’s Lionel Messi. For the coach of the Year, he voted for Pep Guardiola, Jose Mourinho and Alex Ferguson.
The ballot papers are said to have had Matongorere’s signature and also his name.
Only football commentator, Charles Mabika confirmed casting the ballot on behalf of Zimbabwean journalists.
Fifa sends the ballot papers to the national associations which then download them. They are then given to the national team coach and captain to fill out before being returned to Fifa.
Zifa head of secretariat Jonathan Mashingaidze was out of his office at the time the ballot papers were received.
In another embarrassing incident for the country’s football mother-body, several Caf C coaching licences went missing at Zifa House after they had been received from Caf headquarters in Egypt.