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FIFPro Division Africa – for the last time – urges FIFA (or more specifically the FIFA Disciplinary Committee) to communicate its position on the situation of the suspended players in Zimbabwe.

In the opinion of FIFPro, more than sixty Zimbabwean professional football players have been severely sanctioned by the Zimbabwean Football Association (ZIFA) without a fair legal trial (see frame below). For almost two years these players have been waiting for justice to prevail.

FIFPro Division Africa Secretary General Stéphane Burchkalter has written to FIFA several times 1) to hear FIFA's position on this serious matter, and 2) to request FIFA to urgently advise the ZIFA to 'reconsider and lift the players' suspension'. But as of now, neither he nor FIFPro has received an official reply from FIFA.

Last week, Burchkalter once again wrote FIFA repeating his previous questions.

"We would like to know the position today of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee on this very delicate issue regarding the suspension of the players mentioned in our last correspondence (Guthrie Zhokinyu, Edmore Sibanda, Tapiwa Mangezi and Danisa Phiri)."

"For FIFPro Division Africa the situation is unacceptable."

"As mentioned in our letter of 15 July 2013, we would like to request FIFA to confirm the sanctions are illegal and the players involved are in a position to find a new club."

These players involved are victims of the behaviour of the ZIFA and desperately need the help of FIFA. Innocent players have lost their job which has not only hurt their personal life, but also that of their family and relatives, as former national team captain Guthrie Zhokinyu reveals in a video interview.


Click here to read: Banned for life: the tragedy of Guthrie Zhokinyi



History of "Asiagate"

In March 2012, the Zimbabwean football association (ZIFA) suspended, banned or fined more than sixty professional footballers from Zimbabwe due to their alleged involvement in the Asiagate scandal. In 2007 and 2009, the national team of Zimbabwe organised tours of Asia, where it played matches that were fixed. As a result, ZIFA sentenced 98 players, administrators and officials.

The Professional Footballers Association of Zimbabwe (FUZ) and FIFPro Division Africa concluded that ZIFA failed to comply with the provisions of the FIFA Disciplinary Code (Articles 136 and 137), the ZIFA constitution and the ZIFA Rules and Regulations. Among other objections, players were not cited properly, players were not properly charged, players were not formally charged, some players did not even travel or play with the national team when the fixed matches took place. Appeal was almost unaffordable, as the FA demanded an Appeals fee of USD 6,000, while an average salary in the Zimbabwean Premier League is USD 150 to USD 400 per month.

Link to full report