A Zifa committee tasked to investigate how the Warriors travelled to Malaysia in December last year without clearance from the board and the Sport and Recreation Commission, conducted interviews with players and coaches who confirmed that they were asked to lose matches to get money from Asian nationals by ZIFA programmes officer, Jonathan Musavengana.
Musavengana is on suspension over the issue including ZIFA CEO Henrietta Rushwaya who is also facing similar charges.
Reports by players to the committee, led by ZIFA vice president Ndumiso Gumede revealed that players and members of the technical team were clandestinely invited by ZIFA programmes officer Musavengana to travel to Malaysia on 29 December.
Joey Antipas traveled as head coach with Emmanuel Nyahuma his assistant, fitness trainer Thompson Matende, team medic a Sachikonye and physiotherapist Lloyd Maungwa and 18 players to Malaysia.
In his written submission to the committee investigating the Asian trips, Antipas confirmed that they proceeded to Thailand where they played that country’s national team.
“We proceeded to Thailand and only to be told that we were playing against Thailand national team on arrival. The morning before kick off, we were introduced to Asian gentlemen who told us that we were to lose the game 1-0 so that we would be paid handsomely.
“I queried it, citing the fact that it was difficult to lose a game 1-0, because our players had been off-season but I was told to play to instructions by Mr Jonathan Musavengana. I thereby said that I did not want to get involved. During the game there was an Asian guy whom I suspected to be a member of the Asia syndicate who sat on our national team bench and was receiving phone calls and telling the other person on the line all that was happening on the field of play,” wrote Antipas.
The Warriors lost the match 3-0 and they were not paid because they failed to deliver the perfect result. Antipas’ team was accused of dealing with another syndicate.
The team then moved to Malaysia where they played that country’s champions Selangor in a no-strings-attached match and they won 3-0.
On 31 December, the Warriors clashed with Syria in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The game started late and an Asian gentleman paid the players and technical department US$500 each as they threatened not to play since they were not paid after the Thailand game.
“I once again did not get involved in the selection of the team. I recused myself from team selection and the team briefing. Mr Jonathan Musavengana was directing operations from the bench while receiving calls from the Asian syndicate. Whenever he received a call, he would stand up from the bench and dish out instructions to concede goals and that game was duly lost 6-0. To conclude that game, what a farce,” wrote Antipas.
At the airport the Warriors were paid US$1 000 each after they had met one member of the syndicate. Antipas said a bunch of US dollars was also given to Musavengana as Zifa’s share.
“To conclude, I would say my hands received dirty money due to being forced into these games of illegal betting by Mr Jonathan Musavengana,” said Antipas.
A number of players like captain Method Mwanjali, striker Nyasha Mushekwi, Benjamin Marere, Edmore Sibanda, have all given evidence to the national association.
It also emerged that Monomotapa also threw away some of their matches in the African Champions League, and the committee is investigating the matter.
This comes after Dynamos were given a package of US$100 000 by DRC giants T P Mazembe, who were competing with them in the African Champions League and by design or coincidence, Dynamos donated points to the DRC club.
The report has since been submitted to Zifa president Cuthbert Dube and the SRC.