Betting syndicate stalks Zim football
ZIMBABWE’S football has once again come to the attention of betting syndicates with one person, claiming to be based in Germany, reportedly seeking to infiltrate the local game.
One Sami Gazim approached a football supporter seeking assistance to be linked to local players and administrators. Gazim claimed there are people already involved in influencing results in the local game but did not elaborate or back his claims.
Kelebile Moelli revealed that Gazim contacted him through Facebook seeking players or administrators who can help him with inside information which can be used in betting. Gazim promised Moeleli a share of the profits.
“Hello sir, one question, I am writing about Zimbabwe Soccer games, I am from Germany and I want to bet very much money on Zimbabwe soccer games. I am looking for a person who can help me, maybe you know a player or an important person from the clubs or you can hear important information on how the game could end. We could make a good business, if I win you win too, I would give you good money for safe information, we can make a lot of money together if you organise this but it must be safer than safe because I bet a lot of money and I don’t want to lose, I don’t need speculations, I need safe tips, So could you help?” read Gazim’s request.
In another message, Gazim indicated match-fixing was “safer” in Zimbabwe than in Germany, adding some people are doing it but did not name them. Moeli said upon investigating he realised Gazim also liked the official pages of several Castle Lager Premier Soccer League clubs that include Harare City, Highlanders, Dynamos, Black Rhinos, Caps United and Ngezi Platinum.
“He is also Facebook friends with several local players in the Premiership but he indicated to me that he is yet to find any joy despite contacting several people but he did not tell me who. He simply wrote ‘Nobody want to help me, nobody want to make money’”, he said.
Zimbabwe has been rocked with several matchfixing scandals with the most prominent being Asiagate which saw the national team taking part in matches across Asian countries, whose results were predetermined. Zifa communications manager Xolisani Gwesela said the previous incidents led them to setting up surveillance systems that would be able to detect any match-fixing attempts early.
“Because of our past experiences we have set up a system to detect match-fixing manoeuvres early but as you are aware betting syndicates come up with complex and sophisticated methods of influencing games so we have to be on our toes. Match manipulation is a scourge that we should all work together to eradicate as it is against the values of the game,” he said.
Gwesela said those approached should not hesitate to report to relevant authorities so that action is taken. He said they would be holding workshops at the beginning of every season to educate administrators and players on the perils of match-fixing and how they can stop it.