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SRC determined to kill Zimbabwe football

by Staff reporter
01 Mar 2022 at 05:30hrs | Views
THE Sports and Recreation Commission are confident they will be able to cleanse the rot in Zimbabwean football with or without the input of CAF and FIFA with the authorities hoping to rejoin FIFA before the end of the year.

Sports Commission chairman Gerald Mlotshwa told the media yesterday that the regulator has a clear vision of where they are going with Zimbabwean football following the suspension of ZIFA by FIFA last week.

Mlotshwa said football administration, which has left the game on the deathbed, needed wholesome solutions which can only be obtained after a thorough job involving all the stakeholders.

He reiterated that Zimbabwe will not settle for short cuts after FIFA set conditions for reinstatement, which included the reinstatement of the suspended board led by Felton Kamambo, which has been viewed as the root of the problems bedevilling football in the country.

FIFA also want the Sports Commission to withdraw the court cases against members of the ZIFA leadership, who are facing fraud charges at the magistrates' court, for illegally using ZIFA letterheads after they were suspended. The same ZIFA bosses are also battling to clear their names at the courts over vote-buying allegations during the last elections.

But the Sports Commission yesterday made it clear that the decision to withdraw was beyond them since the cases were being handled in the courts according to the country's laws.

Unlike the FIFA straight-jacket recommendations which do not address the root of the problem, the Sports Commission said they have a clear road map that puts Zimbabwe's interests ahead.

"Let's understand this and it's important, in so far as FIFA and CAF are concerned. What we need to do as a people is to pretend, if we want to put it that way, that FIFA and CAF do not exist and let's focus on that which needs to be done in so far as our football is concerned.

"Let's not do things and second-guess ourselves to say, will FIFA agree to this or endorse this etc because if we do that, believe me, we will run into the same problem that other SRC boards have run into in the past, and that is inertia, the inability to do anything.

"This board is not a board that just barks and makes noise, we are action-oriented. There is a lot happening behind the scenes and this issue of restructuring football administration in the country is not subject to what FIFA or CAF may think.

"What we will be happy with is if the stakeholders of football in this country are happy with what has been implemented ultimately. If those stakeholders are happy then we would have done our job.

"When I talk about the stakeholders I am not only talking about the Congress. I am talking about the generality of the people of Zimbabwe. Those are the people whose opinions matter in this case, and nobody else," said Mlotshwa.

Zimbabwe were suspended from the global football family last week in response to the administrative challenges that have rocked the game in the past few years.

FIFA descended on ZIFA with a heavy hand after ruling that the suspension of the Felton Kamambo-led board was akin to "third party interference".

The ZIFA board was suspended last November over a chain of allegations which included lack of accountability with public funds, corruption and sexual harassment of female referees by top officials.

It looks like Zimbabwe will take the longer route before bouncing back but Mlotshwa encouraged football stakeholders to trust the process. He also indicated that the outcome of the ZIFA Extra-ordinary General Meeting that is set to take place next month will be key on the way forward.

"We have always had a plan. The end-game is simply that by 31 December 2022 the issues bedevilling ZIFA will have been resolved.

"I think the best that I can say, including addressing those issues contained in FIFA's letter of suspension of ZIFA; it's not necessarily that those conditions may be fulfilled in the way that they expect them to be but the result that they want will probably be fulfilled nonetheless.

"But the way that this impasse may be resolved is again going back to the owners, the custodians or the guardians of Zimbabwean football, which is the ZIFA Assembly or Congress, as we refer to them.

"Let them meet in due course. I think their meeting was sanctioned by FIFA. They said that they could call that meeting any time after April 3. I think a lot of these issues will become clearer then," said Mlotshwa.

Source - The Herald
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