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Former Zimbabwe Soccer Chief Arrested Over Match-Fixing Scandal

Former ZIFA CEO Henrietta Rushwaya was being detained at Avondale Police Station and faces charges of corruption, bribery and match-fixing, according to her lawyer, Jonathan Samkange

Former Zimbabwe Football Association Chief Executive Officer Henrietta Rushwaya was arrested this week by police investigating match-fixing in professional soccer.

Lawyer Jonathan Samkange confirmed the arrest, telling VOA he is negotiating with the police anti-corruption unit to have her released into his custody. But she was likely to spend the weekend in lockup to appear in court Monday for initial remand.

Rushwaya is alleged to have been a central figure in a multi-million dollar match-fixing scandal between 2007 and 2009 in which players and coaches of Zimbabwe’s national football team, the Warriors, were paid by bookies to lose matches in Asia.

Betting syndicate mastermind Wilson Raj Perumal, a Singaporean national, is in jail in Finland after being convicted of match fixing there.

Rushwaya was being detained at Avondale police station and she faces charges of corruption, bribery and match fixing, according to Samkange.

"Although she is in custody my client is being looked after well by Avondale police staff and I am still awaiting a call from the anti-corruption unit following a warned and cautioned statement that I filed this evening," said Samkange.

A ZIFA investigation into match fixing found that Rushwaya had cleared the national team to make unsanctioned trips to Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia between 2007 and 2009.

Players were paid thousands of dollars to throw matches, an investigation found.

Some players admitted involvement in the scam, but said they feared being killed if they refused to comply. Rushwaya was eventually sacked from ZIFA last year.

Earlier this week, ZIFA said it was suspending 80 players named by an internal report from playing for the national team. But a subsequent new statement said that only three players had been suspended over the so-called Asiagate scandal.