[QODLink]
Football
Zimbabwe axes national football team
National team disbanded after failing to qualify for Africa Cup of Nations, amid ongoing match-fixing allegations.
Last Modified: 02 Nov 2012 18:07
The team has long been dogged by rumours of match-fixing and in October ZIFA announced lifelong bans for some players and officials [GALLO/GETTY]

Zimbabwe has dissolved the national football team for failing to qualify for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations as a major match-fixing scandal still overshadows their performance, an official said Friday.

"The team has been discarded in its entirety," Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) president Cuthbert Dube told a news conference in the capital Harare.

Zimbabwe lost 0-2 to Angola in the last qualifying game for the continental tournament after they had carried a 3-1 lead in the first leg, and failed to qualify on away goals.

Match-fixing scandal

Shocked fans point to a 2009 match-fixing scandal involving the national team that resulted in a lifelong ban for 15 players and officials, which ZIFA announced in October.

The scandal might have contributed to the team's poor performance in Angola, Dube added, without elaborating.

"We will rebuild from the under-20 and under- 23s. These are young people who are clean," he said.

None of the players in Angola played in the "Asiagate" games.

The banned officials include former national team coach Sunday Chidzambwa and former ZIFA chief executive officer Henrietta Rushwaya.

Rushwaya sent the national team to play unsanctioned friendlies in Thailand and Malaysia, and a Singapore-based betting syndicate allegedly fixed the results.

Zimbabwe have qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations twice but have never qualified for the World Cup.

South Africa will host the January 19-February 10 Nations Cup.

230

Source:
AFP
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Featured
Pro-Russia leaders' election in Ukraine's east shows bloody conflict is far from a peaceful resolution.
Critics challenge Canberra's move to refuse visas for West Africans in Ebola-besieged countries.
A key issue for Hispanics is the estimated 11.3 million immigrants in the US without papers who face deportation.
In 1970, only two mosques existed in the country, but now more than 200 offer sanctuary to Japan's Muslims.
Hundreds of the country's reporters eke out a living by finding news - then burying it for a price.