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Illegal Zifa Board engages Chiyangwa?

by Staff reporter
08 Jul 2022 at 07:33hrs | Views
FORMER ZIFA president Phillip Chiyangwa has pledged to work with the current football leadership to speed up the engagement processes between the local stakeholders and FIFA for a quick solution to Zimbabwe's banishment from international football.

Chiyangwa, who recently quit football after opting against re-election as COSAFA president to concentrate on other commitments, said he was glad to assist the re-engagement processes after receiving ZIFA's interim president Gift Banda and board members Alois Masepe and Farai Jere at his offices yesterday.

The Harare property mogul said he will make use of his contacts to try and to set up a meeting between the domestic football leadership and the FIFA president, Gianni Infantino.

ZIFA were suspended by FIFA in April after the international football organisation had ruled that the suspension of the bungling ZIFA board by the Sports and Recreation Commission constituted third party interference.

Chiyangwa said was humbled after Banda and two of his board members made the courtesy call.

"It's important to ensure that the game is played. Of course, people may hear noise here and there but football must be the winner.

"When I became ZIFA president, my spirit was to ensure that we play football. Of course, we can fight but let's play football. Unfortunately, in the last few years after I had left, it was just fighting, with nothing substantial coming out.

"And, turning to the issue of the FIFA suspension, that's what I want to work with them (ZIFA) and the Government and ensure that the suspension is lifted and that football is played.

"I would want to be able to walk into a stadium, watch football and enjoy myself. I would want to see Zimbabwean teams participating and winning trophies, like we used to do during my days at ZIFA. We want to go back to the good old days.

"That's what I promised my brother (Banda) here. For me (being involved with football) it's now for fun because I am no longer going to be ZIFA president or president of any football organisation. I am enjoying what I am doing now. I always want to do whatever I do with satisfaction.

"When I was ZIFA president I won trophies and at COSAFA, I bet no president has performed like me. What we all want now is to restore our own Zimbabwean football on the international stage, hoping FIFA opens up and we play football. That's why I am assisting so that the process yields results," said Chiyangwa.

To show his commitment, Chiyangwa engineered the recent meeting between the ZIFA interim president Banda and the new COSAFA president Artur De Almeida in South Africa, where Banda took the opportunity to explain Zimbabwe's position and solicit for support.

ZIFA are currently under FIFA suspension and the authorities have been putting in place structures and systems to rid the game of the corruption that had tainted the Felton Kamambo leadership before they were booted out by the Sports Commission. FIFA have set stringent conditions for reinstatement, which included the restoration of the ZIFA executive committee. The board has since been reinstated following the Extraordinary General Meeting that resulted in the revocation of Kamambo's mandate along with board members Philemon Machana and Bryton Malandule.

Banda was elevated to the position of acting president at that indaba. Although FIFA are still to make their next move, Chiyangwa sounded confident that the process will be recognised.

"FIFA is not saying they favour Kamambo more than Banda. Procedurally, ZIFA have held their EGM. It's an internal process which FIFA does not get themselves involved in but they recognise the results.

"So the process which led to Banda's appointment is a consequence of ZIFA's internal process, which FIFA respects. So there won't be any FIFA interference in Banda's rise to become acting president because it's procedural.

"This is a guy who was brought into the executive committee by election and was recognised again by the Congress to become acting president.

"The other guys were removed in a proper process which was held by the actors of football in Zimbabwe. Due process was followed and after that there was no more Kamambo or Machana. "So with respect to FIFA, don't cast aspersions on what they are thinking. FIFA wanted that those who are running football in Zimbabwe to not be interfered with. But among themselves they had already started dealing with each other and they have stopped here (on EGM resolutions).

"So this is where we should also focus on. After we have said that, we then turn to the Government. What is the Government doing about what FIFA said and then we deal with that. Once all that is sorted and the pieces are together, then the suspension is over," said Chiyangwa. Acting ZIFA president, Banda, said they have made a board resolution to mend bridges with past executives and Chiyangwa was the first port of call.

"We are doing this because we have realised that with most past executives, there was always bad blood between the outgoing president and the incoming president which led to the pull him down syndrome," said Banda.

"So we are saying let's break that barrier and recognise and honour the people that have served our football before us.

"It's of paramount importance to acknowledge the good things that they have done and we come in and tap in from the knowledge and wisdom that they have for our football to be back at the top again.

"I think you will all agree with me that our football has been in intensive care and we have to take it out by engaging every stakeholder in the football fraternity.

"Football is not for individuals. We are here today and tomorrow others will come so let those that will come after us inherit good structures that will make our football prosperous.

"Dr Phillip Chiyangwa has done a lot in a short period of time since we assumed office. He is the person who opened the door for us to go and meet the COSAFA president and he is opening more channels for us to engage the leadership on the continent.

"We know with him next to us, we will not fail. He has assured us that he will hold our hands and walk with us as we traverse this difficult journey that we find ourselves in," said Banda.

Football fans welcomed the move. Warriors supporter Dorothy Marata hailed the trajectory the football leadership was taking.

"The current ZIFA board has demonstrated true leadership. It's always important to pull in one direction and hopefully we will not go back to the boardroom fighting which has brought us here," she said. Thomas Janyure also weighed in: "As football fans we only want to enjoy the game. So it gives us hope that the football leadership is actually doing something to get our football back.

"It's good that the whole nation now sees the light. We need football people in football positions to avoid the unnecessary fighting and mismanagement of the game. Hopefully FIFA will hear us after all the necessary processes are done," said Janyure.

Source - The Herald
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