REFS IN MATCH -FIXING SCANDAL

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By GRACE CHAILE LESOETSA

THE Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) Ethics and Integrity Committee is investigating three cases of match-fixing involving referees.

In a presentation to the FAZ Council during the annual general meeting held on Saturday at Lusaka’s Mulungushi International Conference Centre, committee chairperson Kephas Katongo said the investigatory chamber was gathering evidence of the referees’ alleged unethical behaviour.

“Three cases have been reported but referred to the investigatory chamber. Two of them are going on for unethical behaviour by referees. One case of match fixing in a local match, one case of match-fixing in an international game and one case of match-fixing in an international match,” Katongo said.

He said his committee has launched a manhunt for match-fixers following FIFA’s recent report in which it slapped a life ban on former FAZ vice-president Boniface Mwamelo for alleged matchfixing involving the Zambia’s Under 23 national team at an international tournament in July 2010.

Mwamelo was accused of collaborating with the convicted Singaporean match fixer Raj Perumal.

“We have a FIFA report pertaining to match -fixing by a Zambian and we have also instituted our own investigations. We would like to know how far and deep rooted this vice is, if anyone of us is part of it I am sure the Ethics Committee will soon catch you,” he said.

He said since the committee’s inception last year, it has dealt with 17 cases of unethical conduct. Katongo emphasised that donations between two opposing teams amounts to a bribe.

He added that a donation valued at more than K50 should be channelled to FAZ.

“To those intending to make donations, as long as the value is beyond K50, it will not be made but channeled to FAZ. Donations between opposing teams will not be accepted. Intimidation and bribes to referees are not accepted as that constitutes match -fixing,” he said.

Meanwhile, Katongo assured the councillors that his committee will deal with transgressors fairly.

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