Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
SCANDAL ridden Herentals FC will know their fate in match-fixing allegations when the Premier Soccer League opens its doors for the 2020 calendar next week.
Herentals appeared before the PSL disciplinary committee last month to answer charges of alleged match manipulation raised in their 3-0 win over Black Rhinos.
Herentals were charged alongside their official Oliver Chirenga, who allegedly “masterminded” the plan to manipulate the result using their financial muscle against Rhinos in their quest to survive relegation.
The allegations cost Rhinos team manager Gift Kamuriwo his job after the former midfielder confessed to taking US$600, which he was supposed to give to players he refused to name. Kamuriwo is said to have presented US$300 to his club bosses, which he claimed was the remainder of the money given to him by Herentals.
Chirenga is alleged to have handed the money to Kamuriwo to execute the ill-fated plan before one of the targeted players blew the whistle to Rhinos coach Herbert Maruwa.
Rhinos conceded three goals in the opening 10 minutes, courtesy of a hat-trick by Herentals’ main striker Blessing Majarira. For the Rhinos case, Herentals were charged for breaching Article 31.1.3 of the PSL Rules and Regulations on acts of misconduct and offence.
Rhinos secretary-general Edward Mutukwa told our Harare Bureau that they were still waiting for the outcome of the PSL hearings before making the next step.
“I think everything that needed to be done was done. We did our own internal investigations and after we detected some anomalies, we reported the case to the PSL. We then attended the hearings and what is now left is the verdict.
“As soon as the PSL give their verdict, we will then be able to give our position as a club. We don’t know why it’s taking this long but the delays are stalling our processes. We need closure in this whole matter so that we can move on as a club,” Mutukwa said.
PSL chief executive officer Kennedy Ndebele said: “Once the office opens for the year next week, the outcome of the hearing will be published.”
Herentals also face the daunting task of clearing themselves from match-fixing allegations levelled against them by Bulawayo Chiefs.
The Students beat Chiefs 1-0 in their final match of the 2019 season played at Luveve Stadium on December 14.
Chiefs reportedly notified the PSL about Herentals’ alleged underhand dealings, claiming that an official from the Students (name withheld) and another from a Bulawayo-based club (name withheld) first made overtures to “bribe” coach Thulani Sibanda before turning to the players after the Chiefs gaffer dismissed their approaches.
Herentals and the officials cited by Chiefs are likely to also face match -fixing charges.— @Zililo.