CAPS United coach Taurai Mangwiro and Shabanie Mine’s Luke Masomere are set to bounce back into football administration.
BY MICHAEL MADYIRA
The duo appeared before the Zifa Special Appeals Committee on Thursday after appealing against their 10-year bans from all football-related activities for their alleged involvement in the Asiagate scandal.
Zifa lawyer Ralph Maganga confirmed the association would officially announce their determination this week.
“The Appeals Committee concluded the cases and will deliver their determination to Zifa this week and that is when the verdict would be made public,” said Maganga.
However, sources said Mangwiro and Masomere were cleared following severe scrutiny of their submissions in which they made it clear they never financially benefitted from fixed games played in Asian countries.
“The appellants were cleared. As soon as the verdict is announced, they would be free to go back to their jobs,” one of the sources said.
“It was agreed that the lengthy bans were too harsh for people who never received any money from the games that were fixed. The appellants were also not active in what was happening in Asia, so it was not appropriate to ban them for such a long time.”
If exonerated, Mangwiro would reassume the reins as CAPS United head coach, while Masomere will begin work at the struggling Shabanie Mine.
Masomere was the first to appear before the Silas Chekera-chaired committee before Mangwiro.
Both coaches had no legal representation.
During the emotion-filled hearings, Mangwiro is said to have broken down, while Masomere “stammered” on various occasions.
Mangwiro’s 10-year ban was based on his alleged role in Monomotapa’s trip to Malaysia, where they masqueraded as the Zimbabwe national team in 2007.
Though he admitted that he posed as the assistant national team coach during the tour, he told the appeals committee that he did not receive any money.
Masomere is said to have pleaded for lenience, asserting that he was one of the people who blew the whistle that opened the can of worms, that games were being sold in Asian countries.
While the duo’s cases have been finalised, former Warriors coach Sunday Chidzambwa, as well as players Method Manjali and Thomas Sweswe applied to have their cases heard during the South African soccer off-season period.
The trio were handed life bans and will appear before the Appeals Committee between May and July.
They also applied for the extension of the period before their hearings to allow their lawyers to work on their head of arguments.