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Footballers Want More Time to Pay Asiagate Fines

The Footballers Union of Zimbabwe (FUZ) is seeking an extension for players found guilty in the Asiagate scandal to pay their fines.

Some of the players, who had been banned for two to five years as punishment over the scandal, now have the option of paying a fine to avoid the ban. However, they are supposed to pay no later than December 31. FUZ says the players need more time.

FUZ Secretary General Paul Gundani says footballers do not earn much and so need more time to raise the funds to pay the fines.

Gundani believes the fines are excessive, saying his organization has asked to meet Cuthbert Dube, the president of the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA), and Jonathan Mashingaidze, ZIFA’s chief executive officer, to review the fines and request more time to pay.

Mashingaidze confirmed that ZIFA has received FUZ’s request for a meeting, but says ZIFA are still looking at their calendar to see when a meeting can be scheduled.

Gundani says he is happy that ZIFA have softened their stance and appears willing to meet with FUZ, a body that represents all footballers in the country.

Going even further than FUZ, a civic organization headed by former Dynamos chairman Ignatius Pamire has demanded that ZIFA throw out its rulings to the players and officials found guilty in Asiagate altogether.

In response, ZIFA’s Cuthbert Dube says ZIFA is not concerned about the demand from Pamire.

ZIFA has banned 16 players and officials for life, while others have been banned for two to five years. All those banned and those who fail to pay the fines will not be allowed to have any association with football, even at the social soccer level.