B-METRO COMMENT: Match-fixing: Time for Govt to act decisively

THE latest match-fixing allegations should be treated with more muscle by having the local football community co-operating better with other leagues and Interpol.

Zifa simply has to step up efforts against match-fixing and corruption considering that it’s them once again on the spotlight because one of the organisation’s senior officials Edzai Kasinauyo (ABOVE) is alleged to be at the heart of it.

It doesn’t stop there, Nation Dube the Warriors assistant coach is alleged to be in the mix too and somehow the ghost of Henrietta Rushwaya seems to be back again. The mention of former Warriors coach  Ian Gorowa as a suspect indicates that Asiagate never really ended.

To fight this, Zifa should work hand in hand with its South African counterpart Safa who could most likely be more affected because the South African league is more lucrative financially.

This is also the time for Government to show how serious it is about sport not only through Press statements and warnings.

There is need for consistent legislation against this kind of sporting fraud and that is where we want to see the Minister of Sport and Recreation Makhosini Hlongwane making constructive interventions.

Through the sports ministry we should have a broad range of prevention activities introduced through training and education.

This is vital for protecting football and every other sport from organised crime.

The local alleged figureheads implicated are just small fish in this criminal activity. The real owners of the match-fixing rackets earn and are in control of billions of dollars.

They have the power to make problems disappear the mafia way but they may find the going tough against a system that exposes corruption — hence if Zimbabwe has such a system they wouldn’t want to get their hands dirty.

Match-fixing has for the past 50 years been the biggest threat to the growth of sport ahead of doping globally. In countries such as Zimbabwe it is relatively new but has room for growth unless action is taken now.

Other than nurturing talent at youth level, it is about time Zimbabwe like many countries adopts a curriculum that teaches about the dangers of match- fixing.

This is because up-and-coming players are in great danger. Without a big name in whatever sport they are involved in, they can easily be approached to throw matches.

If they do it once, it becomes routine and that is how some former players implicated in the Asiagate saga got involved.

In a few words, Government should not just act on the current situation. Instead it should formulate, fund and seek partners to be part of a bigger programme to fight this cancer. The most beautiful game is in great danger.