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Date: 23 September 2017

  Zimbabwean - Soccer

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Malajila latest to be cleared-Zifa on the right path?

[Posted 05 Oct 2012]
[By Brighton Mupangavanhu]
Malajila the goal poacher has now been cleared and available for Zimbabwe
While there may be confusion regarding the manner in which the results of the work of the Zifa Ethics Disciplinary Committee have been handled, good news for Zimbabwe national team coach Rahman Gumbo is that probably his most lethal striker on current form, Cuthbert Malajila, has been cleared of match-fixing charges.

A list was released to the media by the Zimbabwe Football Association on Wednesday with names of players plying their trade outside the country and a few of those based at home who were apparently cleared by the Ethics Committee.

It has now been revealed that Malajila, an intelligent and dangerous striker who plays for Maritzburg United in the rich South African ABSA Premier Soccer League, has also been exonerated of wrong-doing.

Malajila has already scored three goals in the ongoing 2012/2013 PSL season thus far and has been in terrific form since joining the club late last season.

It is believed that Malajila could already have been added to the Warriors squad to camp in Johannesburg ahead of their tough second leg AFCON 2013 match against Angola in Luanda on 14 October.

The manner in which the names of the exonerated players have been released could be viewed as being unclear and questionable by some people.

Before the list of players cleared was released, Zifa had promised the nation that the much awaited report  was with the printers, and that as soon as the report is ready, it will be shared with the nation.

What probably the nation was not told was that the report will be released in piece-meal format. Zifa, who seem to have woken up from their deep slumber in the past month or so, may have opted to release the outcome of the investigations in the manner they are currently doing for several reasons which could be understandable.

One of such reasons could be that there is convenience in releasing names of those cleared so that they could be available for the senior national team which is facing a tough match against Angola this month.

The other reason could be that the report is huge and Zifa needs to apply their mind to the intricacies of the report before taking any solid actions, where such steps are necessary, depending on what the report reveals.

However, critics maybe wondering if the fact that 12 (or is it more or less) players have been cleared, does not give an impression that the others whose names have not been mentioned could be guilty.

Well, such inferences could be unfair on those implicated if it turns out later that the outcome of investigations does not conclusively show that certain of the implicated players are really guilty of the offence as alleged by Zifa.

It has to be stated that there is always a huge evidential burden to prove match-fixing allegations because of the web of secrecy that characterises the operations of the underworld of betting and match-fixing syndicates, where the best evidence available could only be as good as circumstantial evidence.

While it may be easy to criticise Zifa for the manner of handling the release of the outcome, people should never lose sight of the fact that Zifa is dealing with a very sensitive matter of match fixing and there are no easy ways of handling such cases.

Legal complexities aside, that's a topic for another day.

The national mother body should be commended for showing sensitivity towards the needs of the senior national team. It appears that for those exonerated thus far, there was no clear evidence against them, and hence it could have been easy for Zifa to announce their clearances.

Now Rahman Gumbo has a wide pool of players to choose from. This can only be good for Zimbabwe's chances of protecting their two goal advantage over Angola by at least getting a result in Luanda.

ZIFA, YOUR EFFORTS ARE APPRECIATED. Keep on moving forward. That's what we have been crying for all along!  You see that people will rally behind you even to the extent of giving sense to your actions when you step in the right directions.

Never underestimate people, especially soccer lovers. They are quality-literate just like everyone else. That's why the majority of people are noticing the good work and better focus that you ZIFA are bringing to our football. You are not a complete act yet, but keep moving!



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