Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Match-fixing case losing steam

By Nigel Matongorere

It appears the local match-fixing investigation involving Zimbabwean players and officials is already losing steam after the South African Premier Soccer League (PSL) dropped charges against two players.

Embattled former Zifa chief executive Henrietta Rushwaya has confirmed being in communication with an Asian match-fixer
Embattled former Zifa chief executive Henrietta Rushwaya confirmed being in communication with an Asian match-fixer

Bloemfontein Celtic duo of goalkeeper Patrick Tignyemb and midfielder Lantshene Phalane have had their cases dropped by the PSL Disciplinary Committee.

“The case against Bloemfontein Celtic players . . . Tignyemb and . . . Phalane related to the allegations of match-fixing has been removed from the roll and postponed sine die by the PSL Disciplinary Committee. This was confirmed through a memo sent to the club by PSL Persecutor Naude Becker,” Celtic said on their official website.

Related Articles
1 of 15

“This will obviously come as great news to the club, supporters and most significantly the players who have been psychologically affected in the process.

“Hopefully, this will eradicate the negative perception created by those allegations and allow the players to focus on their game.”

When a legal case is postponed sine die, it basically means the matter has been dropped and there is no date set to resume the proceedings.

Before Celtic came public with the latest details, the South African PSL spokesperson Lux September had, however, said the hearings will be held today.

The South African PSL had earlier last month summoned eight individuals to appear before a formal disciplinary hearing.

Besides the Celtic duo, the league had also reportedly summoned Zimbabwean goalkeeper Washington Arubi, who plays for the University of Pretoria.

AmaTuks goalkeepers coach Tendai Tanyanyiwa was also asked to appear together with defender Partson Jaure.

Polokwane City goalkeeper George Chigova is also another Zimbabwean, alleged to have played a leading role in fixing matches across the Limpopo.

The match-fixing cartel was exposed after the Zimbabwe Football Association made contact with a Leeroy Waguta, who was a member of the syndicate.

Zifa managed to convince Waguta to turn “whistleblower” and divulge information which in turn saw board member for development Edzai Kasinauyo being suspended for his involvement.

Warriors assistant coach Nation Dube, ex-Zifa CEO Henrietta Rushwaya, former association programmes officer Jonathan Musavengana and ex-Warriors coach Ian Gorowa have also been charged to appear before the Zifa Disciplinary Committee for their involvement in the scandal.

However, with Zifa solely relying on the evidence they have decoded from e-mails, phone records and WhatApps screenshots obtained from Waguta, it will be largely difficult to build a strong case against the alleged fixers.

According to the information provided by Waguta, the Celtic duo of Tignyemb and Phalane were key players in fixing Absa Premiership matches involving their club.

But it appears the all that information was wrong, considering the route taken by the South African PSL to throw away the charge against the two players.

With what is happening in South Africa at the moment, the current Zifa board might find themselves in the same scenario of the previous executive led by Cuthbert Dube during their Asiagate match-fixing scandal.

Dube and his board spent almost two years conducting interviews and hearings into the scandal while at the same time spending a vast amount of money.

The Asiagate match-fixing investigation crumbled after Fifa refused to endorse or recognise the recommendations made by the Dube-led Zifa executive to ban the individuals implicated in the scandal. Daily News