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13 Soccer Players Face Life Ban For Match Fixing

The Zimbabwe Football Association's Ethics Committee led by former High Court judge Ahmed Ibrahim has recommended that ZIFA should ban for life 15 soccer players and officials including the soccer body's ex-chief executive Henrieta Rushwaya and former national team coach Sunday Chidzambwa believed to have been involved in match-fixing between 2007 and 2009.

Some of the players and officials expected to be banned for life are former ZIFA programmes officer Jonathan Musavengana, former Premier Soccer League fixtures secretary Godfrey Japa Japa, ex-Monomotapa coach Rodwell Dhlakama currently based in Swaziland, Kudzi Shaba a football agent, fitness guru Thompson Matenda and Emmanuel Nyahuma.

Popular players who include the South African based defence pillars Method Mwanjali of Sundowns and Thomas Sweswe of Bidvest Wits may also face a life ban. Others are Dynamos defender Guthrie Zhokinyi, former Caps United goalkeeper Edmore Sibanda and ex-Amazulu player Danisa Phiri.

Sports reporters, Robson Sharuko and Hope Chizuzu, are also on the list of officials who took part in fixing matches in Asia.

Former Warriors coach Sunday Chidzambwa now heads Black Leopards of South Africa.

The secretary general of the Zimbabwe Football Union responsible for players’ welfare, Paul Gundani, said his organization they will appeal to ZIFA for lenient sentences for those players facing a life ban.

Gundani said his organization will meet Monday to set up a delegation that will approach ZIFA to seek light punishment.

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Gundani said handing down life bans on the players is unfair as they rely on football for their livelihoods.

He said ZIFA should hand out more stiffer sentences on the administrators that were involved in the Asiagate scandal and review sentences on players whom he noted were mere victims.