HARARE: Zimbabwe’s long-running match-fixing scandal has struck again with the Zimbabwe Football Association disbanding what remains of the national team squad.
ZIFA president Cuthbert Dube said the national team has been “discarded” following question marks over its integrity.
Zimbabwe let a 3-1 aggregate lead slip against Angola last month to miss out on qualification for the Africa Cup of Nations.
“The Warriors, if indeed they were Warriors, have been dissolved en masse,” said Dube, according to the Associated Press. “We will rebuild from the under-20s and the under-23s.”
ZIFA last month imposed life suspensions on 15 players and officials, including the national team’s former coach and captain, for their part in the scandal.
Former-coach Sunday Chidzambwa and ex-skipper Method Mwanjali were found by a year-long independent investigation to have conspired with an Asian betting syndicate when Zimbabwe played friendlies in Asia between 2007 and 2009.
An official report stated that games were fixed by ZIFA officials in association with convicted match-fixer Wilson Perumal.
Former ZIFA general secretary Henrietta Rushwaya, who has already faced criminal prosecution for her part in the corruption scandal, and Zimbabwe goalkeeper Edmore Siyanda were also among the 15 handed the life bans. Dube has now said that ZIFA will put in place an appeals process for the 15 “in accordance with FIFA rules.”
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