New AFCON Match Fixing Scandal

AFCON Rocked By Match Fixing Rumours

As the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations moves ahead, two of its teams have been accused of engaging in match fixing. Sensational reports from Madagascan media outlets allege that a Zimbabwean player was paid to throw their final pool match against DR Congo. The Warriors faced off against the Leopards in their last Group Stage game before the Round of 16, which heralds the beginning of the AFCON Knockout Stage.

To move on to the Knockout Phase the Congolese team needed to win, and secure their place as one of the top four third-place sides in the championship. If this story is true, DR Congo faces a suspension of 3 years from AFCON, along with a heavy fine – but there is a good chance that the report amounts to nothing more than “fake news”.

Emergency CAF Investigations

The Warriors’ goalkeeper, Elvis Chipezeze, was allegedly asked to allow DR Congo to score the goals that they needed to advance. Moise Katumbi, wealthy politician and owner of Congolese Football club TP Mazembe, is said to have organised the fix and offered Chipezeze a substantial payment to throw the results. Chipezeze did indeed have a bad time on the field, and was directly responsible for 3 of the goals that DR Congo scored.

After performing well against both Uganda and Egypt, Zimbabwe’s recent 0-40 loss was unexpected. This is especially true in light of the fact that DR Congo didn’t score any goals in their previous two games. Their turnaround in fortunes is considered highly suspicious, and the Confederation of African Football, or CAF, is now said to be holding emergency investigations and meetings to decide how to proceed.

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Evidence of Fake News

The authenticity of this so-called “news” is questionable. Katumbi supposedly negotiated the deal at the Madagascan team’s hotel before the game, but since this is also where the Congolese were staying his presence is perfectly understandable.

In addition, an Egyptian bank is said to have marked a suspicious payment into an account held by Chipezeze, but there is no logical reason for the goalkeeper to use Egyptian banking services. Perhaps most compelling is the fact that Chipezeze was not scheduled to play; he replaced Edmore Sibanda after an injury during the warm-up.

Possible Malagasy Ulterior Motive

The strong chance that the match fixing story is indeed fake news raises the question of who originated the rumour, and why. Several insiders are pointing fingers at Madagascar’s media, suggesting that the reports were intended to throw DR Congo off their game ahead of Sunday.

As the victors in the match against Zimbabwe, this is when they are scheduled to go head to head with Barae. If this conspiracy theory is true, it implies that Madagascar saw an opportunity to implicate Chipezeze after his subpar performance in the hopes of getting inside the Leopards’ heads.

Whatever the reason for the reports, if the CAF deems them valid the Malagasy side could indeed have an easier time getting through the Round of 16 by being given a walkover. On the other hand, DR Congo’s place could be awarded to Zimbabwe who will then face Barae with a perfect 3-0 scoreline. Fans and bettors are, naturally, awaiting the CAF’s findings with keen anticipation.

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