Zimbabwe suspend 80 players for alleged match-fixing
Harare: The Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) has suspended 80 players, including the core of the national team, on suspicion of being linked to a match-fixing scandal involving Asian betting syndicates, state media reported Wednesday.
ZIFA has set up an independent ethics committee to probe alleged match-fixing it believes took place in matches the national team played in Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand in 2007.
"Every player who was mentioned in the `Asiagate` report, regardless of how many matches played, are suspended and will only be cleared by the ethics committee," ZIFA chief executive Jonathan Mashingaidze told the state-controlled Herald.
"For now, they are not eligible for selection in any national duty commitments," Mashingaidze added.
The player suspensions are set to affect Zimbabwe`s bid to qualify for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations tournament, whose qualification matches start this month. Zimbabwe faces Burundi on February 29 in the first qualifier.