Bet­ting scan­dal costs Mu­sona

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Ricky Zililo Se­nior Sports Re­porter

BEL­GIUM-based War­riors’ dar­ling, Knowl­edge Mu­sona, has hogged the head­lines for the wrong rea­sons af­ter be­ing im­pli­cated in a gam­bling scan­dal that has at­tracted Zim­bab­wean soc­cer fans’ in­ter­est. Re­ports al­lege that he made bets on matches in­volv­ing his team KV Oos­tende. Al­though de­tails of the bet­ting scan­dal are sketchy, the War­riors’ front­man, who has scored five goals in nine matches for his club . Bel­gian web­site Sporza.be said Mu­sona was in­ves­ti­gated to­gether with Olivier Deschacht and Waasland-Bev­eren goal­keeper Lau­rent Henk­inet by the Gam­bling Com­mis­sion in con­nec­tion with match gam­bling. The re­ports say the in­ves­ti­ga­tions have been con­cluded and the play­ers were found to have gam­bled on matches in­volv­ing their clubs. “The ProLeague con­firmed that ‘four or five play­ers’ were men­tioned in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion of the com­mit­tee and now there are two names to fill in Os­tend striker Knowl­edge Mu­sona and Waasland-Bev­eren goal­keeper Lau­rent Henk­inet. The pros­e­cu­tor ques­tioned the two men and com­pleted its in­ves­ti­ga­tion. The con­clu­sion is that the two in­deed have gam­bled on games of their own team. It is now up to the Gam­bling Com­mis­sion to de­cide whether the two (will be) fined,” reads the re­port on the Sporza.be web­site.

Ques­tions are now be­ing asked as to whether Mu­sona’s con­duct isn’t tan­ta­mount to match-fix­ing, a can­cer that threat­ens Zim­bab­wean foot­ball.

Fans took to so­cial me­dia to ex­press their con­cerns over the player’s con­duct, with some ques­tion­ing if he had not done sim­i­lar ac­tions in matches in­volv­ing the se­nior na­tional team.

“For eth­i­cal and to a larger ex­tent, pro­fes­sional rea­sons, foot­ballers are not per­mit­ted to gam­ble in matches where they are par­tic­i­pants. In 2012, Knowl­edge Mu­sona was al­legedly seen at the of­fices of Hen­ritta Rush­waya, who was banned for match-fix­ing ac­tiv­i­ties. It surely comes as no sur­prise that Mu­sona’s name woke up to some thun­der­ous in­ter­na­tional head­lines which bor­ders on match-fix­ing mar­gins. Hope­fully he didn’t bet in any of our na­tional team games and hope­fully the Wick­nell Chivayo re­la­tion­ship is a squeaky clean af­fair,” said Faith Si­lan­dulo Dube.

Save Mawarire wrote: “One can’t bet in a sce­nario where he has the ca­pa­bil­i­ties to in­flu­ence the out­come. There is a po­ten­tial con­flict of in­ter­est and it bor­ders on crim­i­nal­ity. In fi­nan­cial mar­kets they call this ‘insider trad­ing’. It’s ba­si­cally the art of tak­ing a view on the out­come/price of a fi­nan­cial in­stru­ment when you have the priv­i­lege of in­for­ma­tion which other play­ers in the same mar­ket do not have. It is com­pletely crim­i­nal and un­eth­i­cal. Imag­ine what goes in the mind of a keeper who has played BTS (both teams to score) and his team lead­ing 3-0 with five min­utes to go and he has po­ten­tial to rake in $1 mil­lion if the op­po­nent scores?”

A reader by the name Manyika wrote: “Gam­bling in a match in which you are a par­tic­i­pant is not far from match-fix­ing. Knowl­edge should learn from the fate of his com­pa­triot Bruce Grobbe­laar, who is a sort of a pariah at Liver­pool where his leg­endary sta­tus has come un­der ques­tion. It seems no team wants the Jun­gle­man in its foot­ball struc­tures and tele­vi­sion sta­tions do not fancy him as a pun­dit de­spite all the stel­lar suc­cess he achieved dur­ing his play­ing days. I am sure the money he could have earned as a for­mer foot­baller ex­ceeds what­ever he il­le­gally earned from his mis­de­meanours (he ac­tu­ally lost most of his for­tune in le­gal bat­tles in a vain bid to de­fend his legacy and rep­u­ta­tion). Some­times I do not un­der­stand why guys who seem to have it all reck­lessly throw it away.”

Mu­sona could face a fine for his con­duct like for­mer Manch­ester City de­fender Martín Demiche­lis, who es­caped with a ban af­ter ac­cept­ing a bet­ting-re­lated charge and was fined £22 058 be­fore re­ceiv­ing a warn­ing from the Eng­lish Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion.

Demiche­lis placed 29 bets on foot­ball matches be­tween Jan­uary 22 and Fe­bru­ary 15 this year, but the of­fences did not re­late to any matches over which the Ar­gen­tine de­fender could have had an in­flu­ence, lead­ing to a le­nient pun­ish­ment.

In 2013, ex-Tot­ten­ham winger An­dros Townsend was slapped with a four-month ban, three of which were sus­pended, and fined £18 000 af­ter break­ing bet­ting rules.

In the same year, striker Cameron Jerome, then of Stoke City, was fined £50 000 af­ter ad­mit­ting re­peat­edly breach­ing the reg­u­la­tions, while for­mer New­cas­tle United mid­fielder Dan Gosling was fined £30 000 in 2014.

Last month Nor­wich City striker Kyle Laf­ferty was fined £23 000 and warned about his fu­ture con­duct af­ter he too was caught bet­ting on games. — @ZililoR

Knowl­edge Mu­sona

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