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Fifa ban Kudzi Shaba for life

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Kudzi Shaba

Kudzi Shaba was one of eight individuals from across the globe who were yesterday banned for life from all football-related activities by FIFA after being found guilty of activities likely to have influenced the fixing of matches.

The others were players, or former players, from Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean, Malawi, Sierra Leone, Benin, Cuba, Afghanistan and Kenya.

The Kenyan former international player was banned for 10 years and slapped with a heavy fine.

FIFA said the sanctions, which became effective yesterday when the letters pronouncing the verdict and the punishments were delivered to the individuals, were a result of a comprehensive investigation which the world football governing body conducted from 2007 to 2011.

The Zurich-based body said all the cases were connected to convicted serial match-fixer Wilson Raj Perumal, who was also flagged by FIFA as having been the heartbeat of the match-fixing scandal related to Bafana Bafana’s 2010 World Cup friendly matches.

A number of referees and officials, including former ZIFA programmes manager Jonathan Musavengana, were banned for life in connection with that scandal.

Kudzi Shaba yesterday declined to comment.

“I have nothing to say on that. They told me there is a window for an appeal to be lodged, but I think the best way is just to maintain my silence right now,’’ he said.
FIFA announced the sanctions on their website and in messages sent to international football journalists on their communication platforms.

“The FIFA Disciplinary Committee has found nine individuals — eight players/former players as well as one players’ agent — guilty of having been involved in match manipulation in violation of art. 69 par. 1 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code (Unlawfully influencing match results),’’ the organisation said in a statement.

“The following individuals have been banned from taking part in any kind of football-related activity at both national and international level (administrative, sports or any other) for life:

Mr Karlon Murray, Trinidad and Tobago

Mr Keyeno Thomas, Trinidad and Tobago

Mr Hellings Mwakasungula, Malawi
Mr Ibrahim Kargbo, Sierra Leone

Mr Kudzi Shaba, Zimbabwe

Mr Séïdath Tchomogo, Benin

Mr Leonel Duarte, Cuba

Mr Mohammad Salim Israfeel Kohistani, Afghanistan

“Moreover, the Kenyan player Mr George Owino Audi has been banned from taking part in any kind of football-related activity at both national and international level (administrative, sports or any other) for a period of ten (10) years.

“In addition, a fine in the amount of CHF 15 000 has been imposed upon him. The formal disciplinary proceedings into the aforementioned individuals stemmed from an extensive investigation into various international matches that Mr Wilson Raj Perumal attempted to manipulate for betting purposes.

“This large-scale investigation was conducted by FIFA over several years through its Integrity Department and in cooperation with the relevant stakeholders and authorities.

“The decisions were notified to the individuals concerned today, the date on which the relevant bans come into force.’’The Herald

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Highlanders’ Apology for Fan Misconduct in Abandoned Dynamos Fixture

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Highlanders Football Club has issued a sincere apology to the Zimbabwean football community following the crowd skirmishes that occurred during the high-profile premiership fixture against their archrivals Dynamos. The incident happened just 33 minutes into the game at Barbourfields Stadium, where the Bulawayo club was trailing by two goals. Fans stormed the pitch, protesting against the referring decisions that were perceived to be unfavourable to their team.

The police were overwhelmed by the advancing football hooligans, forcing them to retreat. Some fans were injured during the skirmishes, and vehicles were damaged as the police fought running battles with fans outside the stadium.

In a statement released on Monday, the Highlanders Football Club condemned the unsporting behaviour of the fans who caused the abandonment of the match. The club executive stated that they would be heavily fined for the mayhem, and the points would be awarded to Dynamos on a 3-0 scoreline as per the norm with abandoned matches.

The statement read, “Highlanders Football Club is deeply saddened by the crowd trouble that led to the abandonment of our league match against Dynamos FC at Barbourfields Stadium on Sunday. The club condemns the unsporting behaviour that negatively profiles Zimbabwean football as a brand. It is sad to witness such ugly scenes at a family sports event, especially at a time when the club, together with other stakeholders, is working tirelessly to bring fans back into the stadiums and convincing the corporate world that sport, in general, and football, in particular, is worth their support.”

Highlanders apologised to all its stakeholders, especially sponsors, partners, and innocent football-loving fans who were affected by the acts of a few selfish individuals who care less about the growth of their clubs and football in general. They also prayed for those who were injured and wished them a speedy recovery. The club also urged stakeholders to work together to find a lasting solution to hooliganism in football stadiums.

This is not the first time in two seasons that a match involving the two most followed clubs has been abandoned due to crowd trouble. Another fixture was abandoned in May last year when both sets of fans invaded the pitch. Highlanders celebrated an unorthodox celebration for a 93rd-minute finish by Washington Navaya that broke the deadlock, while Dynamos fans were protesting a referring decision over an incident leading to the goal.

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Zimbabwean youngster Jimiel Chikukwa has joined English National League side FC Halifax Town

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Zimbabwean youngster Jimiel Chikukwa has joined English National League side FC Halifax Town following his release by Championship side Watford.

The 20-year-old forward was unveiled by Halifax Town last week. ”We are pleased to announce that FC Halifax Town has signed Jimiel Chikukwa, who was recently released from Championship team Watford”. Chikukwa started his career in the Leeds United academy when he was only 13 years old. However, he decided to join Watford’s academy in the summer of 2021 when his contract with Leeds expired.

During his time with Watford, Chikukwa was loaned to Maidstone United in the National League South for the second half of the 2021/22 season. Although the Stones won the National League South, Chikukwa only made one league appearance before returning to Watford at the end of the season.

Town boss Chris Millington is optimistic about the future of new signing Jimiel Chikukwa.

Millington expressed, “He is a young and thrilling player who needs to demonstrate his abilities in senior games. However, he has shown tremendous potential, and we believe he will be an exceptional player for our team in the future.” Millington also mentioned that Chikukwa is versatile and can play in various positions, including anywhere in the front three and as an attacking wing-back.

We think he could pose a danger when playing as a number nine, but he could also be a threat when positioned on either wing. In our current formation, he might even excel as an attacking wing-back, similar to Angelo Cappello.

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Reims secures first win with Munetsi scoring his first goal

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Zimbabwe international Marshall Munetsi has expressed his delight after scoring his first goal of the season to inspire Stade de Reims to their first win of the season following a 2-0 victory against Clermont Foot in the second round of the French Ligue 1 on Sunday.

The 27-year-old midfielder was instrumental in ensuring Reims got its first win of the season after breaking the deadlock with a header in the 17th minute.

Denmark international Mohamed Daramy, a new signing from Ajax, added a second goal by converting a low cross from Junya Ito in the 84th.

Munetsi, who is flourishing in a more advanced role at Reims, had several opportunities to double his tally.

Probably his best chance of securing a brace came in the 76th minute when the Clermont goalkeeper Mory Diaw produced a double save to deny the Zimbabwe international what looked like a certain goal.

In the end, it was a successful day for Munetsi as he continued his solid start to the season by scoring a crucial goal to follow up on his contribution on the opening day of the season when he registered an assist during the 2-1 loss against Marseille in the first round of the season.

Afterwards, Munetsi took to social media to praise his teammates for putting on a solid display to register their first win of the campaign in their second match.

Great team performance @StadeDeReims to get our first win of the season at home. We keep going,” Munetsi said.

The former Orlando Pirates player is expected to play an important role for the Zimbabwe Warriors when they return to international football later this year in the upcoming World Cup Qualifiers.

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