Zimbabwe to probe football match-fixing

25 October 2011 02:16

Zimbabwe football authorities on Tuesday set up a disciplinary committee to investigate match-fixing allegations by the national team during Asian tours over the past four years, state media said on Tuesday.

"The ZIFA (Zimbabwe Football Association) board resolved that we appoint an independent disciplinary ad-hoc committee to conduct hearings for individuals fingered in match-fixing," ZIFA chief Cuthbert Dube said in The Herald newspaper.

"Football cannot be auctioned by incorrigible criminals for dirty lucre," he said.

The seven-member disciplinary committee will be headed by retired Supreme Court judge Ahmed Ebrahim, whose team will comprise lawyers, a retired police chief and a former FIFA panel referee, the paper said.

Dube said the committee will conduct hearings for at least 80 players, coaches and officials.

"Be warned: Those who are trying to fix local matches, your days are numbered," Dube said.

FIFA security chief Chris Eaton, who was in Zimbabwe in September, warned that there will be no amnesty if the country's footballers and officials are found guilty in the probe.

"There is no amnesty, not today," Eaton said.

"We have got zero-tolerance on match-fixing and we have to understand that this is now a big problem facing the sport."

Zimbabwe is under investigation by FIFA over an alleged match-fixing scam in Asia involving the national team.

Former 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 fired last year in October.

She is also said to have cleared former league champions Monomotapa to travel to Malaysia masquerading as the national team.

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

Source: AFP