Zimbabwe FA suspends high official over match-fixing claims

Zimbabwe Football Association suspends executive committee member Edzai Kasinauyo over match-fixing allegations

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

The Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) has provisionally suspended executive committee member Edzai Kasinauyo over allegations he was involved in an attempt to fix an African Nations Cup qualifier against Swaziland later this month.

The 40-year-old, who played for Zimbabwe at the Nations Cup finals in 2006, is being investigated over the claims involving the country's Group L encounter in Swaziland on March 25, ZIFA said in a statement on Wednesday.

"The suspension has been occasioned by allegations of match fixing ahead of the 2017 African Nations Cup qualifier match between Zimbabwe and Swaziland," ZIFA said.

"Kasinauyo has been fingered in the match-fixing scam and investigations are going on. ZIFA president Dr Phillip Chiyangwa will issue a statement after consultations with COSAFA, CAF, FIFA and the Government of Zimbabwe."

COSAFA is a 14-member council of Southern African associations and is affiliated to the governing body of African soccer (CAF).

ZIFA's recent history has been littered with problems and in 2012, after several years of investigation, 13 players and officials were banned for life for match-fixing in what became known as the 'Asiagate' scandal.

A further 69 received suspensions for their part in fixing friendly internationals that Zimbabwe played in Asia, where games were manipulated under the instruction of a Singapore-based betting syndicate.

The last of those suspensions for administrators, match officials, players and coaches were lifted earlier this year as a FIFA investigation into the matter stalled.

Zimbabwe are also banned by FIFA from participating in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers, having been punished for constantly missing deadlines to settle an unpaid debt to Brazilian coach Jose Claudinei Georgini, better known as Valinhos, who managed the national side from January to November in 2008.

Swaziland and Zimbabwe are top of Africa Nations Cup qualification Group L on four points after two games, with the winners gaining automatic entry to next year's tournament in Gabon. Malawi and Guinea are the other teams in the group. 

TRTWorld, Reuters