Latest News Editor's Choice

Sports / Soccer

Mapeza technically axed

by Sports reporter
05 Feb 2012 at 05:11hrs | Views
The Warriors has been plunged into further chaos as Zifa revealed on Saturday that coach Norman Mapeza will be relieved of his duties until he is cleared by the Independent Ethics Committee.

The latest development opens the door for a quick-fix replacement as assistant coach Joey Antipas will also be suspended, just three weeks before the Warriors meet Burundi in the 2013 African Cup of Nations opening qualifier.

Mapeza was fingered in the Asiagate report. He was in charge of a single trip to Kenya for the Cecafa Cup in 2009, and the football governing body released a statement announcing that everyone mentioned in the Gumede Commission report is suspended until cleared.

Zifa suspended a total of 80 players in an unprecedented move on Monday and, a few days later, former chief executive officer Henrietta Rushwaya was picked up by police. She was still in police custody yesterday, according to available information.

Mapeza is said to have torched controversy when, during a mini board meeting Zifa held on Monday, he suggested that captain Method Mwanjali was no longer in his plans and reportedly listed striker Nyasha Mushekwi and Thomas Sweswe as well.

But board member (competitions), Benedict Moyo,  who attended the meeting together with board president Cuthbert Dube, board member (finance) Elliot Kasu and Jonathan Mashingaidze, the chief executive officer, objected to the singling out of three players and insisted that all players mentioned in the Asiagate report be suspended.

"Mapeza in his technical report believed that Mwanjali's performance in our last game against Cape Verde was suspiciously below par, suggesting that he had been given some money to throw the match.

His two blunders cost us that game and we failed to qualify for the Nations Cup finals. There were whispers in camp that he had met some people in Pretoria before the team left for Cape Verde and the technical team strongly believes that some money could have changed hands.

"If you noticed, Mwanjali has not been called up for national duty ever since and that is the major reason. But the board felt that everyone in the Asiagate report should be suspended and Mapeza will join the players on the sanctions," said the inside source. Mashingaidze did not deny yesterday that Mapeza and Antipas would be suspended.

"The underlying issue is that everyone fingered in the Asiagate report should be suspended and we are not excluding anyone.

"There won't be any segregation at all and the issue of the national team coach is similar to that of players.

"The board will appoint an interim coach to take charge until the current team is cleared by the Ethics Committee. We will not interfere with the operations of the Ethics Committee because we believe that they are a competent judicial body. Zifa has no mandate to clear or convict anyone and we will abide by the Ethics Committee's decision once they are through," said Mashingaidze.

Mapeza will join former Under-20 coach and Zifa board member Methembe Ndlovu, who has been suspended indefinitely with other board members Solomon Mugavazi and  vice-chairman Kenny Marange.

Zifa will now be faced with mammoth task of raising a competent side that will travel to Burundi for the first leg qualifier and also appoint a coach as soon as possible.

Analysts continue to applaud all decisions reached in Zifa's ongoing crackdown on match fixing, pointing out that it provides an opportunity for football to begin on a clean slate.

Source - TSM