Gam­bling ad­dic­tion in sport

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Dingilizwe Ntuli Sports Edi­tor

IN an in­ter­view with BBC Ra­dio 5 live spe­cial on gam­bling ad­dic­tion in sport in Jan­uary 2015, for­mer Ar­se­nal, West Ham and Celtic star John Hart­son said: “You’re very self­ish as a gam­bler, very de­ceit­ful. Com­pul­sive gam­blers are com­pul­sive liars —they’re very good at cov­er­ing things up.”

One is tempted to de­scribe War­riors’ hit­man Knowl­edge Mu­sona in the ex­act words of the for­mer Eng­lish Pre­mier Soc­cer League striker, who is now bat­tling tes­tic­u­lar can­cer.

Mu­sona is a slip­pery at­tacker with five goals in nine games for his Bel­gian side KV Oos­tende. It, how­ever, seems Mu­sona was not only pro­lific on the field of play, but also off it with his al­leged in­volve­ment with il­le­gal gam­bling.

Gam­bling on matches in the league one plies his trade in is il­le­gal in Bel­gium, but Mu­sona was in­ves­ti­gated for plac­ing bets on matches that he was in­volved in.

The Bel­gian Gam­bling Com­mis­sion has com­pleted its in­ves­ti­ga­tions, but is yet to pro­nounce on the ac­tion to be taken against Mu­sona and other play­ers im­pli­cated in the scan­dal.

Bet­ting in a game one is in­volved in means a player can un­der­per­form to avoid los­ing big money for the bet he would have placed. It’s all about win­ning as much money as pos­si­ble in a brief pe­riod of time.

Now this is the same Mu­sona who quit the War­riors in protest at what his le­gal rep­re­sen­ta­tives then termed sen­sa­tion­alised match-fix­ing al­le­ga­tions against him in 2012.

He at­tacked the un­pro­fes­sional con­duct of the then Zifa chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Jonathan Mashin­gaidze for go­ing to the me­dia, ac­cus­ing him, Ovidy Karuru, Thomas Sweswe and Zhaimu Jambo of match-fix­ing be­fore the War­riors’ Bu­rundi Africa Cup of Na­tions match. The four play­ers had been spot­ted at the of­fices of fired Zifa CEO Hen­ri­etta Rush­waya, who had been axed for al­leged match fix­ing.

Mu­sona de­manded an un­qual­i­fied apol­ogy from Zifa and the clear­ing of his name, which he in­sisted should re­ceive the same pub­lic­ity the al­le­ga­tions re­ceived, or he would re­ject na­tional team call-ups.

Mu­sona re­ceived a lot of pub­lic sym­pa­thy then and Mashin­gaidze was blasted for his “reck­less­ness,” but the for­mer Zifa CEO prob­a­bly feels “vin­di­cated” wher­ever he is. Could that have been Mu­sona be­ing “good at cov­er­ing things up” by us­ing lawyers that most lo­cals can­not af­ford?

Wher­ever Mashin­gaidze is, he’s prob­a­bly telling those he’s still in con­tact with that “I told you see”, and who can blame him?

Some for­mer of­fi­cials and play­ers were im­pli­cated in the re­cent match-fix­ing scan­dal, but only Rush­waya, for­mer Zifa board mem­ber Edzai Kasin­auyo, for­mer na­tional team coach and as­sis­tant coach Ian Gorowa and Na­tion Dube were cru­ci­fied.

Now the in­ves­ti­ga­tion of Mu­sona in Bel­gian leaves one with a feel­ing that this has the prob­a­bil­ity of open­ing a can of worms in the War­riors’ set-up. Why, be­cause Mu­sona is no or­di­nary War­riors’ player. He wields a lot of in­flu­ence among his team­mates and com­mands a lot of re­spect from the tech­ni­cal staff and Zifa man­age­ment.

The ques­tion is did Mu­sona’s al­leged bet­ting habit only start at KV Oos­tende in Bel­gium and did not ex­tend to War­riors’ games? We will never know as long as there re­mains no proper and thor­ough in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the match­fix­ing scan­dal that rocked our foot­ball this year. Cherry-pick­ing a few peo­ple to cru­cify now seems to have been an at­tempt to con­tain the scan­dal and pre­vent it from exploding in its en­tirety.

If Mu­sona can place bets for a club that pays his monthly wages, then surely it would not be a prob­lem to do the same with the na­tional team that plays once in a while. — @dilizwe

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Zimbabwe

© PressReader. All rights reserved.