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Zifa board 'resumes' duties

by Staff reporter
04 Dec 2021 at 07:25hrs | Views
ZIFA board members, who were suspended two weeks ago by the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) have "resumed" duties after lodging of an appeal with the Administrative Court, a move they argue sets aside their suspension.

This ushers in the next episode of the fight, with the SRC interpreting the law differently from what Zifa suggests.

The board members met on Tuesday and, among other things, agreed on coaches they intend to appoint for the Warriors ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in January.

Sources said that the board wants Norman Mapeza to extend his contract, which lapses on December 31, so that he can take charge of the team at the continental showcase in Cameroon.

The board noted that preparations for the Afcon finals have been derailed and coaches need to come up with a squad and send out invitations to their clubs as well as organise training camps.

Zifa also wants to persuade Kaizer Chiefs forward Khama Billiat to reconsider his decision to retire from international football.

The board yesterday released a statement announcing their "return" to work, saying the appeal sets aside their suspension by the SRC.

"The Zifa would like to inform the nation that following the suspension by SRC almost two weeks ago, the Zifa board, after extensive consultations, instituted an appeal with the Administrative Court in line with section 32 of the SRC Act which provides for appeal by an aggrieved part to any decision by the SRC," the statement read in part.

"The nation and the world must know that this application was informed by the need to utilise available local legal remedies for the prime purpose of clearing the names of the board members which have been unfairly soiled as a result of the suspension which according to the SRC was informed by a litany of allegations, chief among them failure to respond to 2019 Afcon enquiry letter and abuse of public funds.

"While Zifa has repeatedly echoed the fact that these allegations are totally untrue, malicious and devoid of any truth, the decision to take this route was to: i) Utilise the courts to also determine the correctness or lack thereof of the SRC decision which was arrived at without following any due process as is required by its own Act and laws of natural justice. ii) Get back in office so as to provide a yawning leadership gap to our national game which was rendered leaderless for two weeks with dire consequences chief among them the recent challenges regarding the Under-17 boys and girls camp where those in charge came short with regards to the safety of players in camp, chief among them, failure to follow their own set health protocols for protection of athletes before they began camp and such resulted with over 80% of athletes and officials being infected with COVID-19. iii) Also worrying is the apparent going off rails of the Afcon preparations at a time where very limited time is left for appointment of coaches, player invitations, camping preparations, fundraising initiatives among other logistical arrangements. The legal effect of the appeal is to among other things immediately suspend the decision by the SRC to suspend the Zifa board meaning the Zifa board is fully back by operation of law pending the finalisation of the matter by the Administrative Court."

The board wants to bring back the Afcon preparations "back on track" and to "engage the targeted coaches" within two days.

December 30 has been set aside for the Zifa annual general meeting to be held and "the President's activity reports, audited financial statements and 2022 proposed budget will soon be circulated to council".

Source - NewsDay Zimbabwe
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