Asiagate is the name of the match fixing scandal where the Zimbabwe National Team made unsanctioned trips to Thailand and Malaysia in December 2009. Then ZIFA CEO, Henrietta Rushwaya was accused of organising the trips and being the “core central point” in the scam which involved referees, players and journalists. A Malaysian national called Raja Raj was reported to have been the key instigator of the match fixing.
On the trip, Zimbabwe lost 3-0 to Thailand; beat the Malaysian champions Selangor 3-0 before losing 6-0 to Syria.
An investigation into the scandal by the ZIFA Board of Enquiry which was headed by ZIFA board member Ndumiso Gumede found the following:
- a Malaysian betting syndicate paid Zimbabwe players US$1,500 each to lose by a pre-agreed score-line.
- a member of the syndicate sat on the Zimbabwe bench and gave instructions when to concede goals.
- ZIFA programmes officer Jonathan Musavengana received “a bunch of US dollars” from a representative of the syndicate.
- players feared for their lives when a representative of the betting syndicate claimed they had cost him US$1 million after losing the first game 3-0 instead of 1-0.
- Politician and Football Administrator Henrietta Rushwaya was in on the scam.
- The match-fixing may have been going on for three years, starting with the 2007 Merdeka Cup held to commemorate Malaysian National Day.
- Method Mwanjali, tipped to be the new national team captain after Benjani Mwaruwari stood down, negotiated payments with the betting syndicate.
- An agent of the syndicate was at the Warriors’ camp ahead of a friendly match with Japan just before the start of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa in June.
most of the players involved in the corruption “now pose a big problem” for the national team.
Rushwaya and Jonathan Musavengana where suspended and eventually fired for their involvement.
- Nkanyiso Moyo, Match fixing: Rushwaya damned, NewZimbabwe, Published:18 October 2010, Retrieved: 26 April 2016