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FIFA fires warning shoots at Mnangagwa's son-in-law led SRC

by Staff reporter
24 Dec 2021 at 16:38hrs | Views
Football world governing body FIFA has given Zimbabwe up to January 3 to reinstate the suspended ZIFA board or face sanctions, which could include the country's exclusion from the Africa Cup of Nations finals which get underway on January 9 in Cameroon.

The Sports and Recreation Commission, a statutory body with oversight on the various sporting disciplines, suspended the ZIFA board headed by Felton Kamambo in November after raising corruption and incompetence allegations.

But in a letter to ZIFA on Tuesday, FIFA said "it is up to FIFA alone, on the basis of serious and well-founded information as well as under special circumstances, to remove executive bodies of member associations and appoint normalisation committees."

FIFA eschews government interference in the operations of its member associations. It reminded Zimbabwean authorities that its statutes stipulate that all FIFA member associations "are obliged to manage their affairs independently and without undue influence from third parties."

"In this context, we consider the decisions by the SRC to suspend all members of the ZIFA executive committee based on mere allegations without proof of a final and binding ruling and subsequently to appoint a ‘restructuring committee' in lieu of the ZIFA executive committee would appear to be contrary to the above statutory principles," FIFA's chief member association officer Kenny Jean-Marie wrote in the letter which was also copied to the Confederation of African Football.

Jean-Marie advised ZIFA to inform the SRC - which is headed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa's son-in-law Gerald Mlotshwa - that in the event its decisions to suspend the ZIFA executive and appoint a so-called "restructuring committee" are not reversed before January 3, "we would have no choice but to submit the present matter to the Bureau of FIFA Council for consideration and decision."

FIFA warned that should the council consider the ZIFA board's suspension to be undue third party interference, "all of Zimbabwean football would suffer the consequences, especially on the eve of the Africa Cup of Nations finals."

The SRC has not responded to FIFA's letter.

Among the broad charges the SRC brought against ZIFA are accusations of "mismanagement and lack of accountability," failure to develop junior football and not treating the women's and men's national teams the same.

In June 2019, the SRC suspended the Zimbabwe Cricket board, drawing swift action from the International Cricket Council which suspended Zimbabwe and banned the country from its competitions. The SRC was forced into a humiliating climbdown just two months later as it lifted the board's suspension.

Source - ZimLive
More on: #Fifa, #SRC, #Zifa