Farai Mujokoro

I am an honest man…Mujoko opens up for the first time since ban

Raymond Jaravaza
HIS stock on the local football scene was so impressive as he was touted as one of the youngest and brightest minds in the game.

At age 32, he was an assistant coach of an exciting football project seen in recent years in the City of Kings.

Bulawayo City FC, bankrolled by the local municipality, was making all the right noises and commanding respect in the local football fraternity.

Any young coach looking to make a name for himself in the game would have moved mountains to be part of such a promising project.

Yet Farai Mujokoro was, in fact, living that dream.

Then boom, the unthinkable happened.

The Bulawayo City FC assistant coach was embroiled in a match-fixing scandal. He was accused of trying to influence the outcome of a match between his team and Border Strikers in 2016.

He was subsequently banned for five years.

For the first time since ungracefully leaving the game that he loved so much, Mujokoro has opened up on the tumultuous months of his life after the ban, life after football and his future plans.

It might sound like an obvious response for a man who is not allowed in any football club for breaking the soccer rule book but Mujokoro still pleads his innocence.

a�?Ia��m an honest man, in my personal life as well as in football. I worked hard to be where I was and I still insist that I had nothing to do with the bribery allegations.

a�?I started my coaching career from the bottom and enrolled for coaching courses so why would I want to destroy my career like that?a�? Mujokoro responded to B-Metro Sport in an interview from South Africa.

The ban hit him like a tonne of bricks but not being able to assist his son, Lexington, in his budding football career was a much worse bitter pill to swallow.

a�?Ita��s a pity I cana��t help my son with his career, he used to watch me coach the Bulawayo City players at training but now all that cannot happen,a�? he said.

The young Lexington was part of local players that toured Canada last year.

Mujokoro remains hopeful the powers-that-be at Zifa or someone with a a�?consciencea�? at the top echelons of power in local football will fight in his corner.

Ita��s a long shot but he is not losing hope.

a�?I miss football. Ia��m hopeful someone from the top (Zifa leadership) will lift my ban. Football is my source of income and things have been hard since the ban,a�? he said.

In November 2016, B-Metro Sport reported how Mujokoro feared for his life and even temporarily deserted his home after countless a�?visitsa�? from four unidentified men.

a�?That incident taught me that football is not for the faint-hearted. Football is not just a game anymore, I saw the ugly side of football during that period but Ia��ve moved on, Ia��m much stronger now,a�? he went on.

His heart bleeds for the team that he once considered part of his family.

Bulawayo City FC is on the brink of relegation from the Castle Lager Premiership.

With that said the club still owes him money.

a�?My lawyer is handling the issuea�?.

He recently relocated to South Africa but says ita��s not all rosy in the neighbouring country.