More Zim players banned

2012-02-03 12:55

The number of Zimbabwean players banned from their national team is increasing by the day as it has now risen from the initial 80 reported earlier this week.

The Zimbabwean Football Association (Zifa) has blacklisted players who are implicated in the Asi­agate scandal, barring them from being selected to play for the national team until they have been cleared by the Independent Ethics Committee.

Zifa is trying to clear its name following allegations of match fixing and bribery involving the national teams. These date back to 2007 in matches organised outside the country, particularly in the Far East.

Zifa uncovered that players and the coach were paid sums of money to lose exhibition matches on trips to Asia from 2007 to 2009.

However, the players are not banned from playing football and can continue plying their trade at their clubs.

Some of the high-profile players implicated in the scandal include the Kaizer Chiefs’ trio, Zhaimu Jambo, Willard Katsande and Thomas Sweswe, and Mamelodi Sundowns’ Method Mwanjali and Nyasha Mushekwi.

Ajax Cape Town striker Khama Billiat is also on the list.

Benedict Moyo, secretary of the investigating committee, said it wanted to send a clear message that it would not tolerate corruption in the sport.

Moyo, however, encouraged those implicated to come forward with information if they wanted to clear their names.

“We want to start from scratch hence this operation. We view these allegations in a serious light and we will leave no stone unturned as we want to clean our game of these corrupt element,” Moyo said today.

He said he expected the ethics committee to wind up its report next month before the start of the Zimbabwean league.

“And until the ethics committee clears them or the players go voluntarily to the ethics committee to clear their names they remain suspended.”

Moyo added that even the technical team was going to be subjected to investigation.

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