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Players cleared in Asiagate scandal are taken up straight into the squad

Three Premier Soccer League players have been added to Zimbabwe’s squad for their trip to Angola this week after they were cleared off alleged match fixing in the Asiagate scandal.

The Kaizer Chefs duo of Kingston Nkatha and Lincoln Zvasiya plus striker Cuthbert Malajila of Maritzburg United have joined up with preparations for the final round, second leg qualifier in Luanda on Sunday.

Zimbabwe defend a 3-1 lead for the first leg as they attempt to reach the Nations Cup finals for the first time since 2006.

The three had been on a list of some 90 coaches and players accused of taking money to throw match results when Zimbabwe sent touring teams to Asia between 2007 and 2009.

A commission of inquiry into the scandal has since found they had no charges to answer to and as a result were again free to play for their country.

A total of seven players were cleared last week to add to a list of 33 cleared in May, including Khama Billiat of Ajax Cape Town.

The trio of PSL players added to the squad means Zimbabwe now have 10 South African-based players in their squad for the trip to Luanda.

The others are Tinashe Nengomasha (Bidvest Wits), Carlington Nyadombo (AmaZulu), Esrom Nyandoro (Mamelodi Sundowns), Oscar Machapa (Moroka Swallows), Abbas Amidu (Black Leopards), Orlando Pirates’ new signing Takesure Chinyama and Billiat, who scored in the first leg last month.

AmaZulu goalkeeper Tapuwa Kapini, who is Zimbabwe’s first choice, misses the match after recent surgery that threatens his chances of playing in the Nations Cup finals should Zimbabwe hold onto their 3-1 lead and qualify.

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