Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Asiagate scandal leaves Khama Billiat puzzled

By Kickoff.com

CAPE TOWN – Ajax Cape Town attacking midfielder Khama Billiat says he is yet to fully come to terms with the match fixing scandal rocking Zimbabwean football.

Khama Billiat
Khama Billiat

Billiat was part of the initial 80 players that were blacklisted by the Zimbabwe Football Association early this week and barred from representing the country in international matches.

However, a sudden U-turn by Zifa resulted in just three players — Thomas Sweswe, Nyasha Mushekwi and Method Mwanjali — being blacklisted before Zifa reverted to its initial decision to suspend all implicated players.

Billiat, who is awaiting the results of a recent trial in Holland with Dutch club Ajax Amsterdam, told KickOff.com that media reports linking him to the scandal have left him with more questions than answers.

“I have not been reflecting much on the reports because there are things that I do not understand,” said Billiat.

“I am aware that there are investigations that are yet to be completed so maybe this is not the right time to go into detail about the issues related to the scandal. I have seen a lot of reports in the media and they are things that remain unresolved in my mind.

“I am focusing on our preparations for the league games at the moment and I do not want to lose focus because everything is progressing smoothly,” he added.

Zifa has set up an independent ethics committee to probe alleged match-fixing it believes took place in matches the national team played in Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand between 2007 and 2009.

Eyebrows were raised in Zimbabwe football circles when the Warriors — who qualified for the 2004 and 2006 editions of the African Nations Cup —lost 6-0 to Syria and 3-0 to Thailand in December 2009 in two of the matches that are now in question.

A 162-page report produced by a Zifa probe has been handed to world football governing body Fifa. In a written response to KickOff.com, Fifa says it is in the process of evaluating the matter before making a ruling.

“Fifa is looking into the matter and therefore, for the time being, we cannot comment further,” said the Fifa statement.