- Title: ZIMBABWE: GROBBELAAR CLEARED OF VIOLATING CITIZENSHIP REGULATIONS
- Date: 26th July 1995
- Summary: ZIMBABWE'S NEWSPAPER THE HERALD OF JULY 26 HEADLINE READS: "IMMIGRATION TO QUIZ BRUCE"
- Embargoed: 10th August 1995 13:00
- Location: HARARE, ZIMBABWE
- Country: Zimbabwe
- Topics: Conflict,General,Politics,Sports
- Reuters ID: LVA4QBD4XR8XXA767USE8VDWWU94
- Story Text: Immigration authorities in Zimbabwe said on Thursday (July 27) they had cleared their scandal-plagued goalkeeper, Bruce Grobbelaar, of violating citizenship regulations.
They said they were satisfied Grobbelaar, their first choice national goalkeeper, had not used his British passport after renouncing it in 1992 in favour of a Zimbabwean one.
On Monday (July 24) British police charged Grobbelaar with conspiracy related to corruption in soccer and match-fixing.
"My officials have quizzed Grobbelaar and found that he has never used his British passport after regaining his Zimbabwean citizenship three years ago," chief immigration officer Elasto Mugwadi told reporters.
Questions about Grobbelaar's citizenship surfaced after he surrendered two passports, one Zimbabwean and another British, when he was interviwed by Hampshire police in March in relation to the match-fixing charges, which he denies.
But Mugwadi said: "Even if he had one at his home when arrested by the British police it did not mean that he had used it after his Zimbabwean citizenship has been restored." Zimbabwe abolished dual citizenship under legislation passed in 1985 when Grobbelaar won British citizenship, leading to the loss of his Zimbabwean one.
He then renounced British citizenship in 1992 to regain Zimbabwean citizenship.
The 37-year-old goalkeeper, who plays for Southampton in the English premier league, arrived in the Zimbabwean capital Harare on Wednesday (July 26) to prepare for his country's African Nations Cup qualifier with Cameroon on Sunday (July 30) in Yaounde.
The decision to prosecute Grobbelaar for alleged match rigging has thown a shadow over his country's last-ditch attempt to qualify for the African Nation's Cup finals.
The charges come before a vital Cup game for Zimbabwe, who need to beat Cameroon in group one to qualify for the final for the first time.
Zimbabwe's football fortunes have shown a marked upturn since Grobbelaar was recalled to the team three years ago but despite his heroics they failed to qualify for the last Nation's Cup finals in Tunisia.
They were also denied a place, by Cameroon, in the World Cup finals in the last African qualifier at Yaounde's Omnisport stadium, where the team return on Sunday.
The intense spotlight will not prove ideal preparation for one of the country's most important matches.
The game is one of 11 Nation's Cup qualifying matches this weekend which will decide the last six places for the 16-team finals next year in South Africa.
Cameroon, who need only to draw against Zimbabwe to qualify, are expected to be one of the six, along with Algeria, the Ivory Coast, Tunisia, Mozambique and Angola.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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