The arrest of former Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) Chief Executive Officer, Henrietta Rushwaya, in the latest chapter of what they call Limpopogate match-fixing scandal should give Fam food for thought.
The scandal erupted a few months ago with Zifa claiming they had busted a cartel that allegedly intended to fix, among other matches, the 2007 Nations Cup qualifier between Zimbabwe and Swaziland.
Ironically, these two teams share the same group with Malawi, Guinea and Swaziland in the ongoing Nations Cup qualifiers.
Zifa officials also claim that Rushwaya and her cartel were in the process of infiltrating the Warriors camp using one of the team’s official as their point man, to try and influence the outcome of the games between Zimbabwe and Swaziland.
The Zimbabwe government paper, The Herald, reported that Zifa and their whistleblower, believed to be Leeroy Waguta, a man with close ties to a number of prominent Zimbabwean footballers based outside the country, maintain that Rushwaya was, in fact, part of a match-fixing web that was trying to fix matches in the South African Premiership.
This just shows how dirty football has become and Fam cannot pretend that all is well in Malawi. If these people are working hard to fix the Zimbabwe versus Swaziland game, what could stop them from fixing games involving the Flames?
Already most people are not happy with the way the Flames performed against Guinea during the return match in Blantyre. We all saw how uncommitted our players were in that game and this makes some of us think that there was an invincible hand dictating events.
It was unheard of for the team that drew one-all with Sierra Leone in a strength testing match a week before taking on Guinea which they also managed to hold to goalless draw and eventually ended up losing 2-1 at home.
It is the level of commitment that is raising eyebrows. We cannot pretend that the rot that is happening in Zimbabwe football cannot happen to us when we are all in the same group, and to make matters worse, we will be travelling to Harare shortly for the crucial decider game on their part.
Zimbabwe football is riddled with corruption and match-fixing scandals and Fam needs to be on the lookout. This ANC Group L has lost its credibility because of what is happening in Zimbabwe.
The best ANC organisers, Caf, could have done was to disqualify Zimbabwe until all these issues are sorted out.
This is not the first time such match-fixing issues have transpired in Zimbabwe soccer. Recently, is it not the same Henrietta Rushwaya who was implicated in match fixing scandals in Asia involving the same Zimbabwe Warriors?
We don’t need more evidence to conclude that this virus has infected other teams in the group in their quest to qualify for the continental showpiece.
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