The Asiagate scandal has proved that it is indeed a complex issue, following events that unfolded in the past week.
Final Whistle Simba Rushwaya
In the aftermath of media reports that the Federation of International Football Associations (Fifa) had trashed Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) bans on implicated players and officials, a dark cloud hovered over Zifa House, while in some quarters people toasted to the news.
For almost a week, Zifa appeared to have succumbed to a technical knock out judging by their silence as their “enemies” went on the offensive.
The mixed feelings were obvious because Zifa wants to make sure the convicted officials and players rot in hell, while at the same time those that were incriminated will not have a chance to have a go at Zifa.
But something is clear here and so many lessons can be drawn from what is happening on the football landscape.
From my point of view, this saga is littered with personal wars manifesting through Asiagate, no wonder why all the passion and determination to outwit each other. It has ceased to be a national agenda, but a matter of who scores what in the eyes of the public.
Immediately after the reports “exonerating” the “culprits”, former Warriors coach Sunday Chidzambwa announced that he would sue Zifa for defamation, while several others implicated wanted to take the same route.
Those in the football fraternity are well aware that Chidzambwa and others are not fighting Zifa as an institution, but some personalities in the Zifa board and secretariat.
I bet my last dollar if Zifa president Cuthbert Dube, chief executive officer Jonathan Mashingaidze, vice-president Ndumiso Gumede and to some extent board member competitions Benedict Moyo were to leave Zifa today, no one would dare go to court against Zifa.
Dube, Mashingaidze, Gumede and Moyo are the architects of the Asiagate probe and are loathed so much by those who were implicated particularly the “chief culprits.”
If indeed people were involved in match-fixing and betting in Asia, they should face the music because it is dishonourable for anyone to do that.
Defending your country is the summit of patriotism, but Fifa will have the last say in the Asiagate scandal.
Lessons can also be drawn that this scandal should be treated with the utmost caution by all parties involved.
The tone exhibited by Fifa’s response that “please understand that we cannot comment on the proceedings” indicates how delicate this matter is.
It is a case that has far-reaching consequences particularly for players and coaches. Banning the players means there will be no food on the tables of the victims.
For those who were breadwinners in their families, it means the chain of poverty will be felt in extended families.
It is against this background that people must not grandstand on matters like these; Zifa and the culprits alike.
It is high time people wait for the decision from Fifa, who say they are still studying documents from Zifa to ascertain whether the bans must be effected worldwide or not. Any utterances about Asiagate are sub-judice. Let justice take its course.
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