THE recorded telephone conversation allegedly between Fabian Ngoliya and some referee, only identified as Mwape, leaves a lot of unanswered questions, especially just how many games could have been manipulated during the period in question.
It is worse and very saddening that the recorded conversation was only made public four years later with FAZ claiming it acted on the very serious matter last year when it was brought to its attention.
What is shocking is why the matter was a closely guarded secret and there was a vague and veiled explanation on what the action taken on the individual promoting match-fixing.
The decision by FAZ to stay mute and say nothing about this matter raises serious questions about the integrity of the game moreover looking at the person identified in the recording.
By merely having kept quiet would in some way show as if FAZ was shielding the person and not until a whistleblower made the recording public was the association made to manufacture a statement.
To put it very bluntly, FAZ here missed the bus to literally score a cricket scoreline in the sphere of transparency and integrity.
FAZ’s decision remain mute was ill-advised and they have instead conceded a spectacular own-goal.
I, and am sure many Zambians, have been left wondering how many games were tempered with by such criminal acts to influence the outcome of games.
It is sad that while owners and sponsors of the various football clubs continue to pump in colossal sums of money to fulfill fixtures, someone is making easy money by influencing matches.
Some teams got demoted or lost points while coaches were fired at the expense of someone powerful and who without any shame or regard for other stakeholders livelihoods practiced match-fixing with impunity.
The conversation was more candid that it shows there was or still is a cartel that worked towards achieving their selfish ambitions and leaving the game stained with match-fixing, leaving doubt on outcomes of some matches.
FAZ must clearly state what action was meted on the individual/s especially that this matter happened some time back.
The person identified in the audio is a well-known figure and enjoys some personal association within FAZ hence an urgent call on Football House to clear the air and justice meted out more so because FIFA doesn’t not support match-fixing.
No matter how long the case took, action must be taken along with all those responsible because clubs will start doubting the credibility of match officials-and the sad part is most clubs already feel hard done by and match official have been accused of favouring certain teams.
All those involved have no business being in football and must never come near a football stadium again.
FAZ should help bring back the integrity to the game and help clubs that pump in lots of money get their true value and save coaches who have lost their jobs through a third force off the pitch through match-fixing.
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