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Zifa clears paid-up players

ZIFA is set to continue cashing-in on the Asiagate match-fixing scandal as the seven appellants against life and lengthy bans have been ordered to pay US$300 on top of the appeals fees, Standardsport has learnt.

By Brian Nkiwane

Zifa chief executive officer Jonathan Mashingaidze revealed this in response to various communications said to be coming from lawyers that represent the appellants claiming that their clients were becoming impatient with Zifa’ silence over their matter since paying their appeals fees of US$6 000 each last year.

“One thing that these appellants have to understand is that this issue is beyond Zifa now. The process is very long. What they need to do now is to come to our offices and pay US$300 for then to get what we call a record of proceedings which they will then use to start the ball rolling for their cases to be heard,” Mashingaidze said.
The Zifa CEO went on to explain how the process has to work, up to the time the cases would be heard.

“After getting the record of proceedings upon payment of the US$300, the appellants and his lawyer would then sit down and draw mitigation statements, the heads of argument, which the Special Appeals Committee will look at during the consideration of a case. The heads of argument will help the appellant to outline his or her grounds of appeal. One thing they have to bear in mind is that this is not a retrial, not at all.

“After this process, the Special Appeal’s Committee with the assistance of Zifa would then sit down to come up with a date, venue and time and then invite the appellant for the case to be heard.”
Mashingaidze added that it was not an easy job coming up with the record of proceedings as each appellant had a booklet close to
1 500 pages.

“So far, we have seven people that appealed. It has been a hectic period since the time that the committee was put in place trying to come up with these records.”

The seven who managed to appeal against life and 10-year bans are Herald Senior Sports Editor Robson Sharuko, former Warriors coach Sunday Chidzambwa, former CAPS United coach Taurai Mangwiro, Thomas Sweswe, Method Mwanjali, Luke Masomere and Dynamos defender Guthrie Zhokinyi.

Meanwhile, Zifa has thrown a lifeline to Asiagate players who were slapped with fines whose pay up deadline was pegged on December 31.

“We are happy with the level of cooperation that clubs, club owners and players have displayed. Those that had no money came to our office and made special arrangements on how they are going to pay up. As Zifa, we are like a father, hence we have agreed as a board to bear with these few players that have not paid. We discovered that a number of local players get money during this signing period when they get their signing-on fees, hence we made arrangements that would suit them,” added Mashingaidze.

All those that have been cleared and those that have paid up their fines are now eligible to play for the national team, the Warriors.
“We had a meeting with the coach on Tuesday [where] we told him that all those that have paid up their fines are now available for selection. It’s now up to the coach to decide whom he wants in his squad,” concluded Mashingaidze.

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