Herentals Football Club are heading for relegation from top flight football after the Premier Soccer League (PSL) deducted 3 points from their victory over army side Black Rhinos on the 19th of October 2019 on the grounds that the match was fixed.
The Students as Herentals is popularly known, narrowly escaped relegation with 41 points but are now on 38 points following the PSL judgment and will now be replaced by Chapungu in the topflight league.
In a statement, PSL Communication and media liaison officer, Kudzai Bare said Herentals together with club official, Oliver Chirenga have been found guilty of manipulating the match outcome.
"Herentals FC were fined RTGS$300 000 (Three hundred thousand dollars). In addition, in line with Article 18(2) of the Fifa Disciplinary Code 2019, the results of the Herentals FC vs Black Rhinos FC match played on the 19th of October 2019 be and is hereby forfeited. The fine of RTGS$300 000, together with the full costs of the hearing, shall be paid by the club by 31 January 2020,"
"The Club was found guilty of contravening Order 31.1.3 of the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League Rules and Regulations which makes it an offence on the part of a club where:
Its players, officials, servant or duly authorized (expressed or implied) representatives, for any corrupt, dishonesty or lawful purpose in connection with a game played under auspices of the League, or in connection with the affairs of the League, give, offer or promise, whether directly or indirectly, any inducement, reward or bribe of whatsoever nature, to anybody whatsoever," read the statement.
Chirenga was slapped with a ZWL$ 20 000 fine payable by 31 January 2019 or faces a 10-year ban from any football and football related activities.
He was charged for contravening Order 31.2.2 of the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League Rules and Regulations which makes it an offence on the part of a club or official which states:
"For any corrupt, dishonest or unlawful purpose in connection with a game played under the auspices of the League, or in connection with the affairs of the League, gives, offers or promises, whether directly or indirectly, any inducement, reward or bribe of whatsoever nature, to anybody whomsoever."
During his period of banishment, the accused shall not be allowed to watch local football or be near any football stadium in Zimbabwe.
Meanwhile, then Black Rhinos team manager, Gift Kamuriwo was also found guilty of breaching Order 31.2.3 of the PSL Rules and Regulations which makes it an offence on the part of player or official who; "Accepts any inducement, reward or bribe referred to in order 31.2.2."
Kamuriwo has been banned from participating in any football related activity for a period of three years as from the 1st of January 2020. One year of this period is suspended on condition that the accused pays a fine of RTGS $10 000 (Ten thousand dollars). During his period of banishment, the accused shall not be allowed to watch or be near any football stadium in Zimbabwe.
Efforts to contact Herentals F.C and Black Rhinos officials for comment on the judgment were unsuccessful by time of publishing.
The judgment could be reversed if Herentals F.C are successful in their appeal.
The development means that relegated Chapungu could be handed a lifeline back into the Premiership football this coming season.