The Zimbabwe Football Association’s Ethics Committee has pardoned 11 more players who were suspected to be involved in the so-called Asiagate scandal.
This brings the number of cleared players to 44 out of 80 that were suspended by ZIFA following allegations that they were involved in fixing matches played by the national team in Asia a few years ago.
Six of the players who have been cleared Kingstone Nkhata, Edward Sadomba, Energy Murambadoro, Lincoln Zvasiya, Ephraim Mazarura and Cuthbert Malajila have immediately been drafted into the Warriors squad that will play Angola’s black Antelopes on October 14.
Former Warriors player Justice Majabvi is one of the cleared players who has not been recalled for national duty. The other cleared players include Mthulisi Maphosa, Costa Nhamoinesu, Hardlife Svirekwi and Cliff Sekete.
Dynamos supporter Shepherd Nyamota said the Asiagate investigation has become a big farce.
Nyamota said the players have been pardoned because ZIFA wants the Warriors to beat Angola.
However, ZIFA president Cuthbert Dube said the national football controlling body does not have a hand in this exercise.
Renowned football critic and former class one referee Sam Hamandawana said he is happy that the players have been pardoned.
Motor Action supporter Tichaona Andrew Tarwirei said the players drafted into the national team will add depth to coach Rahman Gumbo’s squad.
But former Ziscosteel and Chrome Stars midfielder Emmanuel Kurebwaseka said ZIFA have shifted from their initial Asiagate goal of cleansing the game and are now interested in results on the football field.
Dube dismissed him saying the ethics committee is an independent body which is making its own decisions.
The players who have just been cleared and recalled will Monday join the Warriors camp along with the other 24 that have been called for the make-or-break tie against the Angolans.
Zimbabwe carry a 3-1 lead from the first leg in Harare and only need a draw or a narrow 1-0 or 2-1 loss to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations finals to be held in South Africa in January.
At least 55 players and 16 officials have not yet been cleared by the committee headed retired Supreme Court Judge Justice Ahmed Ebrahim.