By Grace Chingoma
The start of the domestic Premiership is now certain to be delayed after fresh bribery allegations were levelled against Herentals by the top-flight league’s leadership.
The Students, who are already fighting to clear their names after being found guilty by the PSL disciplinary committee, of manipulating their league match against Black Rhinos, have been hit with a fresh charge.
Herentals launched a two-pronged approach to try and overturn the decision by the PSL disciplinary committee.
They first approached the ZIFA appeals committee, where the case is set to be heard next week, while they also filed an application with the High Court.
They have now been hit with another charge by the PSL and, given the channels open for them to appeal, in the event they are found guilty, this could paralyse the start of the new season next month.
The fresh charge is that the Students allegedly tried to bribe the Bulawayo Chiefs coach and two of his players ahead of the two teams’ final showdown.
Herentals won that match 1-0 to secure their place in the top-flight league which is now under threat from the cases in which they are being accused of employing underhand tactics.
The Students have been summoned to appear before the committee on Thursday next week at the PSL offices in Harare.
Bulawayo Chiefs alleged that, on December 13, on the eve of their match, some Herentals officials allegedly approached their coach Thulani Sibanda, and players David Bizabani and Arthur Musiiwa, at Cresta Hotel in the City of Kings.
Chiefs say the trio was offered money to allegedly manipulate the match in Herentals’ favour.
According to PSL, Herentals are being charged for breaching Article 31.1.3 of PSL Rules and Regulations on acts of misconduct and offence which states that:
“Its players, officials, servant or duly authorised (expressed or implied) representatives, for any corrupt, dishonesty or lawful purpose in connection with a game played under auspices of the League, or in connection with the affairs of the League, give, offer or promise, whether directly or indirectly, any inducement, reward or bribe of whatsoever nature, to anybody whatsoever.’’
Herentals were docked three points after the PSL disciplinary committee found them committee of violating the PSL statutes related to fair play in their match against Rhinos.
An official, Oliver Chirenga, who the PSL said was the team’s manager, was banned for 10 years from all football activities and fined $20 000. The Herald