Zimbabwe: Zifa in War With Benji

Photo: Aliou Goloko
Zimbabwe National team.

Zifa are at loggerheads with Benjani Mwaruwari for allowing people implicated in the Asiagate scandal to participate in organising his testimonial match.

Before the match, the association issued a stern warning to the former Warriors striker against engaging those fingered in the scandal, among them former Zifa chief executive officer Henrietta Rushwaya.

But Rushwaya says there was no way she could have not taken part in the match since she was the one who mooted the idea of a testimonial match three years ago. But Zifa are having none of it with the association's chief executive officer Jonathan Mashingaidze saying Mwaruwari has a case to answer and risks being heavily sanctioned if he fails to present his side of the story.

"We are asking Benji to write to us explaining why he used those implicated in the Asiagate scandal to organise his match," Mashingaidze said.

"We made it clear that those implicated must not be involved. Even though he has retired from international football, he remains a Zimbabwean and our statutes together with those of Fifa will always catch up with him."

Zifa's concerted efforts to shove Rushwaya aside from organising the match drew blanks and she proudly proclaimed that she ran the show as the event was her brainchild.

"Was I ever involved in Benjani's testimonial match? I was not involved because saying that is an understatement. The event was my brainchild, a project that I had been working on for the past three years. So how can I be involved in something that I had come up with? Benji has the legs to play football but I had the brains to come up with the concept of the testimonial."

Meanwhile, Zifa are also demanding US$85 000 as match levies from a game where a net loss of US$140 287 was recorded and have given Mwaruwari and his team until Friday to pay.

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