Zimbabwe suspends 67 players after corruption case

The Zimbabwe Football Association has suspended 67 players,

including most of its national team, following a long-standing

investigation into match-fixing.

A ZIFA probe last year led to a number of players admitting that

they accepted money from an Asian betting syndicate to lose

exhibition games on Far East trips from 2007-09.

The ZIFA report said the money was handed out by agents of

Singaporean Wilson Raj Perumal, who is in jail in Finland for

fixing activities in that country.

In a statement Monday, ZIFA chief executive Jonathan

Mashingaidze said implicated players must not be included in the

national team unless they are cleared by the organization’s ethics

committee.

Former Zimbabwe captain Method Mwanjali and top national team

players Daniel Vheremu, Benjamin Marere and Thomas Sweswe made

statements admitting taking money, along with a member of the

coaching staff, Joey Antipas.

The list of players who featured in the matches includes several

key members of the current squad: Nyasha Mushekwi, Khama Billiat

and Ovidy Karuru.

The decision to suspend the players was made during an emergency

board meeting to review Zimbabwe’s failure to qualify for the

African Cup of Nations, currently under way in Equatorial Guinea

and Gabon.

Last September, ZIFA suspended three of its board members,

pending further investigation, for their alleged involvement.