Chicken Inn rally be­hind Rush RAH­MAN STILL SAFE

Byo City sub­mit match-fix­ing report

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Ricky Zililo Ricky Zililo

CAS­TLE Lager Premier Soc­cer League reign­ing champ i ons BU­L­AWAYO City FC and Bor­der Strik­ers yes­ter­day sub­mit­ted to the Cas­tle Lager Premier Soc­cer League re­ports on match-fix­ing al­le­ga­tions lev­elled against the for­mer’s tech­ni­cal team.

City sus­pended four mem­bers of their tech­ni­cal team, in­clud­ing head coach Phi­lani Ncube over match-fix­ing al­le­ga­tions last week fol­low­ing leaked What­sApp mes­sages that the lo­cal author­ity bankrolled club’s coaches wanted to “buy” re­sults for their game against Strik­ers which they won 1-0 last week. Chicken Inn are ral­ly­ing be­hind their coach Rah­man Gumbo (pic­tured) de­spite the gaffer fail­ing to meet his tar­get. Ac­cord­ing to sources at the club, Gumbo was given a tar­get of 20 points from 10 games but he amassed 15. Fol­low­ing last Satur­day’s 0-0 draw against Cha­pungu, Chicken Inn’s ex­ec­u­tive mem­bers — chair­man Lifa Ncube, trea­surer Mlungisi Moyo and vice-chair­man Juta Tshuma — held a “cri­sis meet­ing” at their head of­fice in Bu­l­awayo. The meet­ing didn’t last long as Gumbo was in a hurry to at­tend some busi­ness in Botswana. Ncube said there was noth­ing amiss with the meet­ing they held, adding that they still have faith in Gumbo. “There is no grain of truth in ru­mours cir­cu­lat­ing that we’ve given the coach an ul­ti­ma­tum. He is still set­tling and it takes long for play­ers to un­der­stand his phi­los­o­phy. We’re hope­ful that he will be able to get the de­sired re­sults soon. Ac­tu­ally, Gumbo has earned our vote of con­fi­dence,” said Ncube. Chicken Inn are on po­si­tion 10 with 23 points and on Sun­day take on third placed High­landers who are hard-pressed for a vic­tory fol­low­ing three con­sec­u­tive de­feats. A loss for Gumbo against High­landers is likely to pile pres­sure on the veteran gaffer and could lead to an early exit at the home of cham­pi­ons. Gumbo had an op­por­tu­nity to re­place Ed­more Chi­ram­badare and Mitchelle Katsvairo who joined Kaizer Chiefs in June as well as skip­per Danny Phiri who moved to Golden Ar­rows dur­ing the mid­sea­son trans­fer win­dow. His ad­di­tions Ozias Zibande and Dar­ryl Nyan­doro seem to be tak­ing long to set­tle while Chris Sa­mak­w­eri has been a reg­u­lar fea­ture. Gumbo will need a host of Chicken Inn’s ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers to come to party and save his job by de­feat­ing High­landers who they beat 2-0 in the first leg. Play­ers like Cle­mence Matawu, Obidiah Tarumbwa, Moses Jack­son, Pass­more Bernard, Pride Tafirenyika and goal­keeper Elvis Chipezeze are ex­pected to drive the Game­cocks against Bosso. They also have young­sters like Divine Lunga and Tafadzwa Kutinyu who they can bank on. —@ZililoR Ncube, his as­sis­tant Farai Mu­jokoro, goal­keep­ers’ coach Regi­nald Buhali and kit man­ager Gift Mvala have been frozen out of the club pend­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tions and an in­terim tech­ni­cal team made up of Try Ncube and Barry Daka is in charge of the squad. The sus­pended City quar­tet had their re­ports sub­mit­ted to the PSL, with the club hope­ful that coach Phi­lani and the goal­keep­ers’ trainer Buhali who are not fac­ing crim­i­nal charges will be al­lowed back into the team. “We’re as­sist­ing the league with in­ves­ti­ga­tions and we sub­mit­ted the re­ports of the four mem­bers of the tech­ni­cal team to the PSL to­day (yes­ter­day). Also at­tached to the re­ports are letters from the po­lice stat­ing that no crim­i­nal charges have been laid for coach Phi­lani Ncube and goal­keep­ers’ coach Regi­nald Buhali. We’re also con­duct­ing our own in­ves­ti­ga­tions and at the mo­ment since th­ese two (Phi­lani and Buhali) have been cleared by the po­lice, we’re con­sult­ing if it’s pos­si­ble for them to re­sume duty while the other two have their case sched­uled for Au­gust 19 at the Beit­bridge courts,” said Bu­l­awayo City chair­man, Jerry Sibanda.

Mu­jokoro is be­ing ac­cused of at­tempt­ing to bribe Strik­ers’ goal­keeper Talent Sande with $300 to let them win the game by five goals.

Ac­cord­ing to What­sApp mes­sages al­legedly be­tween Mu­jokoro and Sande, the money was sup­posed to be col­lected by Sande’s sister from City kit man­ager Mvala.

How­ever, Mvala walked into a trap be­fore kick-off when he al­legedly handed the money to Strik­ers’ trea­surer Gift Jera, who was in the com­pany of a woman pos­ing as Sande’s sister.

The mat­ter was re­ported to the po­lice be­fore kick-off, forc­ing Mu­jokoro to dis­ap­pear from the sta­dium at half­time.

PSL chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Kennedy Nde­bele said in­ves­ti­ga­tions are un­der­way and City’s four coaches are likely to ap­pear be­fore a dis­ci­plinary hear­ing.

“We’re con­duct­ing our own in­ves­ti­ga­tions and as it is the league is pos­ses­sion of a com­plaint from Bor­der Strik­ers in the form of a report and an af­fi­davit from their player (Sande). Those are damn­ing al­le­ga­tions which were lev­elled and once we’re done with our in­ves­ti­ga­tions we will com­mu­ni­cate with all par­ties in­volved,” said Nde­bele. — @ZililoR

Jerry Sibanda

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