Zimbabwe suspends coach over match-fixing

08 February 2012 09:16

Zimbabwe's football association has suspended national team coach Norman Mapeza, who was implicated in a match-fixing scam in Asia, the association's boss said Wednesday.

Former midfielder Rahman Gumbo has been named as interim coach, said Jonathan Mashingaidze, chief executive of the national football association ZIFA.

"Gumbo has been appointed on an interim basis until Mapeza and his assistant Joey Antipas have been cleared," Mashingaidze told AFP.

"The board resolved that all individuals fingered in the Asiagate report were suspended with immediate effect and will not be considered for national team duty until they are cleared. This is just an interim structure and we are hoping to get a substantive one after the Burundi game" in late February, he said.

Mashingaidze said players and officials implicated in the match-fixing would appear before an independent ethics committee, which begins its hearings this week.

Mapeza's suspension came a day after former ZIFA chief executive Henrietta Rushwaya was released on bail after she was detained for bribery, corruption and match-fixing.

She is accused of sending the national football team to play unsanctioned friendlies three years ago in Thailand and Malaysia, where a betting syndicate allegedly fixed the results.

Last week Zimbabwe football authorities suspended 82 players implicated in the scandal.

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

Zimbabwe is also being probed by FIFA.

FIFA president 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