Latest News Editor's Choice

News / National

Bogus Zifa leadership to assemble in Harare today

by Staff reporter
24 Feb 2023 at 07:01hrs | Views
THE football leadership in the country is expected to assemble in Harare today where they are expected to come up with a road map that will guide the association in the implementation of football reforms.

ZIFA acting chief executive officer Xolisani Gwesela yesterday said all was set for the gathering, which ironically comes exactly one year after ZIFA were suspended by FIFA.

Key among the discussions will be the football reforms and the direction the game should take in light of the recommendations made by the ZIFA Restructuring Committee recently.

"This is a meeting of ZIFA stakeholders, most notably the executive committee and representatives from the members of ZIFA," said Gwesela.

"This meeting is key because it has to come up with a document that will form the basis of the road map towards the implementation of the domestic football reforms.

"So the discussion will centre mainly around the recommendations that have been put forward by the ZIFA Restructuring Committee.

"The meeting is also expected to come up with a road map towards the implementation of the reforms. Afterwards, ZIFA will write to the Sports and Recreation Commission to apprise them of what the football family has agreed upon before implementation so that we move forward together," said Gwesela.

ZIFA president Gift Banda also told The Herald that the ZIFA members will "unpack" the report and recommendations proposed by the Restructuring Committee.

The Restructuring Committee, which was set up by the Sports and Recreation Commission in December 2021 as part of the strategic roadmap towards addressing the issues that have affected football management and administration in Zimbabwe for many years, has since compiled a comprehensive report which is now in public domain.

The committee noted that the "outdated" ZIFA constitution needed major amendments, among the major reforms. The gathering will also take time to analyse the different recommendations from the ZIFA Constitutional Review Committee and the ZIFA Executive Committee.

The meeting should come up with a working document at the end, that should guide the football reforms to get the game kicking again and lead to the reinstatement of ZIFA's membership at FIFA. Zimbabwean football is currently in the doldrums following the decision by the FIFA Council to pull the plug on ZIFA's membership rights on February 24 last year in response to the chaos in the country's football administration.

In fact, FIFA suspended Zimbabwe and Kenya at the same time citing "third party interference" in the administration of the game following the suspension of the scandal-hit leadership at the two countries' football associations.

Both nations were concerned by the state of decay in football administration following allegations of corruption and mismanagement.

The Sports and Recreation Commission suspended the ZIFA leadership led by Felton Kamambo in November 2021.

The suspended football executives were accused of misappropriating public funds during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations finals, corruption as well as allegations of sexual harassment of female referees.

Kamambo and some members of his ousted executive are still facing court charges over fraud and bribery.

Some members of the suspended executive who included Barbara Chikosi and Farai Jere and Sugar Chagonda were reinstated last year.

But Kamambo and two other members Bryton Malandule and Philemon Machana, who are still battling to clear their names at the Harare Magistrates' Courts were not reinstated. The trio has since been kicked out of office in a vote of no confidence by the ZIFA Congress.

Similarly, in Kenya, the country's sports ministry had disbanded the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) over alleged misappropriation of funds and appointed a caretaker committee in November 2021.

The federation's president, Nick Mwendwa, was subsequently arrested and charged with misappropriation of funds from FIFA and the government. He has pleaded not guilty.

New Sports Minister Ababu Namwamba last November announced the reinstatement of the federation executives but warned former leader Mwendwa, who is facing corruption charges, not to return to the KFK until the case was concluded.

FKF vice-president Doris Petra has been acting as president for the past 17 months, just like in Zimbabwe where ZIFA vice-president Banda has been running the association.

Kenya, however have been reinstated by FIFA following the lifting of the KFK suspension by the country's sports ministry in November. Zimbabwe have said they need to put structures first before approaching FIFA.

Source - The Herald