Zimbabwe players in Asia match-fixing suspended

31 January 2012 11:16

Zimbabwe football authorities have suspended from the national team some players implicated in a 2009 match-fixing scam in Asia, an official said Tuesday.

Former Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) chief executive Henrietta Rushwaya sent the national team to play unsanctioned friendlies in Thailand, Syria and Malaysia two years ago and a betting syndicate allegedly fixed the results.

Rushwaya was later fired in 2010.

"There were 80 players in all who took part in the games and we are saying all those players who were involved in five games or more should have nothing to do with the national team until they are cleared," ZIFA chief executive Jonathan Mashingaidze said.

"We can't have players in the national team with issues to do with match-fixing."

He added: "The players have not been banned yet, but we just want to let justice take its course. The sentiment in Zimbabwe was that the team was failing to qualify for major tournaments since we were using players who had been tainted by this scandal."

He could not give the exact number of players affected.

In August last year, ZIFA suspended three board members, including a former national team player and a former referee, over the scandal.

Zimbabwe are also under investigation by world football governing body FIFA.

FIFA chief Sepp Blatter warned during a visit to Harare last year that players and officials found guilty in the ongoing probe would face life bans.

Source: AFP