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FIFA security head Eaton, Investigator Steans to visit Zim

[Posted 23 Sep 2011]
[By Beezsports Chief Editor]
FIFA security head Eaton, Investigator Steans to visit Zim

The much anticipated and talekd about visit by the FIFA's Head of Security Chris Eaton will finally happen thi weekend, according to reports emanating from Zimbabwe.

Speculation was rife in Zimbabwe this week that Eaton's arrival would be delayed as Fifa triestomanage the publicity which comes with the arrival of such a key Fifa official during an era when match-fixing scandals in global soccer have attracted media attention world-wide.

State-owned Herald even claimed that Fifa was attempting to tread the ground with caution given the ramifications(to the Brazil 2014 World Cup) of the revelations that even Brazilian players such as Ronaldo and Roberto Carlos were in the past allegedly bribed by the same match-fixing agents implicated in the so-called Asiagate scandal involving Zimbabwe's senior national soccer team.

It is interesting that contrary to the speculation about further delayed arrival of Eaton, Fifa has now reportedly announced fromits base in Zurich that Eaton will in fact arrive in Harare on Saturday and will be accompanied by Investigator Terry Steans.

"We can confirm that Chris Eaton will be in Zimbabwe as of tomorrow (Saturday),” Fifa Media Officer told Zimbabwe's fast-growing newspaper, NewsDay on Thursday.

“He is expected to be accompanied by their chief investigator Terry Steans,”the media officer added.

Following the release of the Asia gate scandal report by ZIFA' Investigation team led by Vice-president Ndumiso Gumede. The 162 page report details the Warriors sojourneys in Asia, since 2007, the CECAFA tournament in 2009, and 2008 champions Monomotapa's trip to Asia in 2009 in which they masqueraded as the Warriors.

Most, if not all these trips, ZIFA maintain, were not sanctioned by the national mother body or cleared by the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC).

Three Zifa board members have already been suspended in the interim on the recommendations of the investigation panel for their alleged roles in the ill-fated trips , and they include, Methembe Ndlovu, board member for development, Solomon Mugavazi,Northern Region Chairman and Vice-president Kenny Marange.

The report has been copied to CAF, Fifa, SRC, the Zimbabwe Republic Police and the Ministry of Educations,Sports and Culture.

Zifa is expected to now establish an Ethics Committee expected to deal with the allegations of match-fixing contained in the report, in line with the Fifa regulations. Any soccer player or official implicated will have to be cleared by the Committee.

Fifa's Eaton and Steans are expected to assist Zifa in setting up the Ethics Committee,the modalities of such a committee and how to handle complex legal issues flowing from difficult cases such as match-fixing where evidentiary issues can prove to be problematic.

It is very interesting that the Investigation team, and not the soon to be established Ethics Committee has already made recommendations regarding how the assets acquired during the Asia trips should be dealth with,how criminal cases should be handled and how Zifa should deal with individual who do not fall under the jurisdiction of Zifa.

In essence,the Ndumiso led team recommended that proceeds from the ill-fated trips be forfeited for the development of soccer in Zimbabwe, that individuals who do not fall under the purview of football statutes be dealt with by ZRP, while players or officials who will choose not to turn up for hearings, will be dealt with in accordance with Fifa rules.   

 

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