Herentals to contest relegation

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Rest Mutore, Sports Reporter

HERENTALS have vowed to appeal against what they branded ‘unfair judgment’ after the Premier Soccer League found them guilty of match fixing.

PSL ruled yesterday that Herentals were found guilty of trying to influence the result of their 3-0 win over Black Rhinos in October last year – fining them RTGS $300 000 and forfeiting three points.

Herentals were, thus, relegated while Chapungu bounce back.

PSL, in a statement, said Herentals should pay the fine before the end of this month or risk a 10-year ban.

The team’s manager Oliver Chirenga was also fined RTGS $ 20 000 and banned from any football related activities for ten years.

Gift Kamuriwo of Black Rhinos, who is said to have received the money from Chirenga, was fined RTGS $10 000 and banned one year.

However, Herentals secretary Fainos Madhumbu said they are not happy with the judgment.

“We are not happy about this, we are obviously going to appeal against this unfair judgment,” Herentals secretary Fainos Madhumbu told H-Metro last night.

“It’s vindictive and excessive. Just imagine the judgment they are giving and would want everyone to take them seriously. Maybe their sponsorship is around RTGS $100 000 and they give a penalty of RTGS$ 300 000, honestly speaking isn’t it an indication that they are just against the institution that is Herentals FC,” said Madhumbu.

Madhumbu argued there was no tangible evidence that was provided during the hearing.

“They should have given details of what transpired in the hearing where Black Rhinos failed to provide any tangible evidence. We had the issue of US$600 that is being claimed to have been given Oliver Chirenga whom they are claiming to be an official of Herentals. Secondly, they claim that the incident happened at one of the army barracks in Harare. Thirdly, they claimed that Oliver Chirenga used a certain number in phoning the man he was intending bribing. Now it was being asked, if it happened in the barracks surely when people are going in and out of the barracks they are logged in, we requested the log book so that at least it can place Oliver to where the crime is said to have taken place. There was the issue of the phone number that was being used, we had to check ourselves as a football club but again it was established it was not registered in anyone’s name,” said Madhumbu.

He claims there is a conspiracy against the Innocent Benza-owned team.

“We had almost a similar case with Bulawayo City in 2016 where people admitted to have attempted to influence the match, was it Border Strikers, it was only the people involved who were penalized but not the club.

“By merely going through the verdict, you would see that there is a conspiracy against Herentals and that in itself defeats fairness, it defeats the spirit of equality,” said Madhumbu adding, “When it comes to Herentals they we are just an easy target, then power politics in play and we are falling victims.”