Education, Sport, Arts and Culture minister David Coltart has summoned the committee investigating the Asiagate scandal over the delay in the completion of investigations, Standardsport can reveal.Report by Brian Nkiwane
The Ethics Committee led by Judge Justice Ahmed Ibrahim is yet to conclude investigations into the scandal, which saw Zifa suspending more than 80 players, football administrators and match officials.
In the first phase of investigations, the committee cleared 33 players, but this time around, they have taken more than expected, prompting the government to summon the entire committee.
Speaking to Standardsport, Zifa president Cuthbert Dube said the government, Zifa, football stakeholders and fans were concerned by the delay.
“The government has become impatient with the delay leading to them summoning the Ethics Committee and the matter is set to be topical in Cabinet next (this) week. We are pushing hard that the committee discloses the contents of the final report, which they said is now at their printers, so that if they have cleared any other players, coaches can make final call-ups among those cleared to beef up our squad ahead of this do-or-die tie against Angola,” Dube said.
He added that they were not looking at anything short of qualifying for the bi-annual continental football showcase to be staged in South Africa next year.
“We would want to utilise everything, or let me say every player who will be found not guilty in the last 90 minutes before we qualify for South Africa.
“The government, therefore, thinks there’s some kind of sabotage that is going on within the investigating team. The team has not been forthcoming demanding their payment, but I have been paying the committee an average of US$10 000 per week,” he said.
Despite all this kind of motivation, the committee has not been able to finalise the investigation. Dube also revealed that the delay is set to cause a lot of problems for the football supreme body, as Fifa, which is supposed to pay for the investigation process, have already come out guns blazing and demanding the finalisation of the investigation.
“Fifa has given the Ethics Committee an altimatum. If they don’t present the final report before September 30, the football supreme board will no longer accept their charges and Zifa, which is under financial constraints, will shoulder the burden,” Dube added.
Meanwhile, apart from seeking allowances that Zifa has budgeted for the Warriors, Zifa chief executive officer Jonathan Mashingaidze revealed that they were planning for a special morale boosting camp for the team.
“We are planning for a special camp as a way of motivating our players. Funds permitting, the special camp will be out of the country, but if funds do not allow, we will try to have the camp somewhere out of Harare. This will help our players mentally.
“Warriors will troop into camp on October 8 in Harare and by then we would have finalised the camping issue. We hope to travel with a 23-member squad as we look forward to having friendly matches along the way to Angola,” concluded Mashingaidze.