The players, who were reportedly instructed to lose three matches against Thailand, Syria and Malaysian club Selangor late last year, were each given US$1 000 for every match while an undisclosed amount was given to the technical team.
If the allegations are proved, then Zimbabwe’s rankings will plummet, severely affecting local players’ chances of breaking into European leagues. Top footballing nations such as England and France have laws barring clubs from signing players whose country of origin is not ranked among the top 70.
The match-fixing scandal has prompted ZIFA president Cuthbert Dube to launch a tough drive which he said is aimed at weeding out corruption at 53 Livingstone House.
The move has already seen programmes officer Jonathan Musavengana being sent on forced leave after months of investigations into the suspected illicit deals that have dogged the national football association.
Dube last week confirmed Musavengana’s suspension and warned that stern measures would be taken against anyone found on the wrong side of the law.
“We are investigating the trips to Malaysia. We have received a lot of information regarding the Warriors’ involvement, but we will only disclose details after the conclusion of the investigations.”
An influential member of the Warriors technical department exclusively revealed to The Sunday Mail details of the shocking match-fixing scandal and its alleged mastermind, admitting his own hands were equally dirty.
The suspected mastermind (name supplied) is alleged to have travelled to Malaysia with the Cosafa championship-winning Warriors and reportedly gave orders to influence the results of the three matches that Joey Antipas’ men were involved in.
“We were shocked when we arrived in Malaysia because we were told that we were just supposed to do what we were told.
“We played three games, and the first game was against Thailand and we lost 3-0 and he (the mastermind) was on the bench giving us instructions.
He was constantly on the phone and every time he received a phone call that’s when we had to concede.
“We played the second game against Selangor, a Malaysian club, and this game had no conditions, but in the final match we faced Syria and we lost 6-0.
“We were told that in the first half we were supposed to lose 2-0, and during the second we were supposed to lose 4-0.
“He told us that Zifa didn’t have any money and that’s the only way we were going to get paid,” said the source. He, however, claimed that each player got US$1 000 while some members of the technical department received US$500 more.
Meanwhile, the Zifa president refuted claims that the local governing board owes its employees three months’ salary.
“I can categorically state that we don’t owe any employee anything. I can’t understand why anyone would say they haven’t been paid,” said the Zifa president.
The Zifa board is set to meet again this week to deliberate on the shocking Asian scandal.