Edzai Kasinauyo suspended by Zimbabwe FA over match-fixing allegation

The Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) has provisionally suspended committee member Edzai Kasinauyo over allegations of match-fixing.

The former international has denied the allegations in the local press.

A statement from Zifa said the investigations are ongoing.

“The suspension has been occasioned by allegations of match fixing ahead of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations match between Zimbabwe and Swaziland,” it read.

“Zifa president Dr Phillip Chiyangwa will issue a statement after consultations with Cosafa, Caf, Fifa and the Government of Zimbabwe.”

Kasinauyo was quoted in the Zimbabwe Herald newspaper as saying: “I have never been involved in such things all my life and the only relief that I have right now is that I am being told there is evidence and that will paint the correct picture and help set me free.”

The 40-year-old was elected to the Zifa executive committee in December and was part of his country’s squad at the Africa Cup of Nations in 2006.

Cosafa the 14-member council of Southern African associations affiliated to the continent’s governing Confederation of African Football (Caf).

Caf issued a statement on Wednesday saying it would liaise with football’s world ruling body Fifa to “activate the mechanisms necessary” to ensure other Nations Cup qualifiers are not open to manipulation.

“The decision, based on information available to the Association [Zifa] and were subjected to its Executive Committee, including affidavits, emails, audio recordings, may be related to the business to manipulate the results of the Day 3 & 4 matches of the AFCON 2017 qualifiers against Swaziland,” the Caf statement said.

Caf’s director of communication Junior Binyam told BBC Sport: “It’s a critical matter, and a threat for the game – not only for Africa but for the whole world. Match-fixing is probably the biggest cancer in the game today.”

Zifa’s recent history has been littered with problems and in 2012, after several years of investigation, 13 players and officials were banned for life for match-fixing in what became known as the ‘Asiagate’ scandal.

A further 69 received suspensions for their part in fixing friendly internationals that Zimbabwe played in Asia, where games were manipulated under the instruction of a Singapore-based betting syndicate.

The last of those suspensions for administrators, match officials, players and coaches were lifted earlier this year as an investigation by Fifa into the matter stalled.

Swaziland and Zimbabwe are top of Africa Nations Cup qualification Group L on four points after two games, with the winners gaining automatic entry to next year’s tournament in Gabon. Malawi and Guinea are the other teams in the group.

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