THE Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) said Wednesday it had written to FIFA over what it sees as an attempt by its former CEO Henrietta Rushwaya to destabilise the national team.
Rushwaya and a small group of ex-ZIFA officials banished from the game for match fixing stand accused of sponsoring certain players and a section of the fans to disrupt the national team.
ZIFA claims the plotters are trying to fuel dissatisfaction with Cuthbert Dube’s board which has been trying to clean up the game in the wake of the Asiagate match fixing scandal.
The crisis reached boiling point on Tuesday when ZIFA announced stars Knowledge Musona and Ovidy Karuru were being investigated for match fixing following an alleged secret meeting with Rushwaya.
ZIFA CEO Jonathan Mashingaidze said: “This is a serious matter and we are not taking chances. We have advised FIFA through a letter and we await further directions from them.
“People are playing games with the national team and we will not sit back and wait.”
But on Wednesday, both Karuru and Rushwaya separately denied the alleged meeting had taken place.
Mashingaidze is said to have followed Karuru, Musona and the pair of Thomas Sweswe and Zhaimu Jambo – both suspended for their alleged roles in Asiagate – to Rushwaya’s offices in Harare.
Karuru, who has been ruled out of Sunday’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Burundi through injury, insisted that he and Musona accompanied Thomas Sweswe to the Newlands Shopping Centre where he wanted to obtain a quotation for gold detectors.
Rushwaya called a news conference on Wednesday to deny meeting the players. She said she was in Chinhoyi at the time the meeting is supposed to have taken place.
“At first I thought the war was going to be over as soon as I was cleared by the courts, but I can see some people are still fighting me. I also want to make the record straight that I am not a match-fixer, and I have no intention of coming back to football,” Rushwaya said.
ZIFA president Dube was furious last week after the national team was kept out of the National Sports Stadium for a training session when groundsmen said they wanted to work on the lawn.
He also claimed that disruptive elements – whom he referred to as “rats” – had travelled to Mozambique where Zimbabwe drew 0-0 in a World Cup qualifier.
Warriors coach Rahman Gumbo, who was critical of Karuru after the draw with Mozambique, has called up Dynamos striker Rodreck Mutuma as a replacement for the winger.
Karuru missed Wednesday’s training and Musona was said to be an injury doubt for Sunday’s clash with Burundi. Zimbabwe trail 2-1 from the first leg.