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Zifa wants Mnangagwa intervention

by Staff reporter
29 Dec 2021 at 05:28hrs | Views
The Zimbabwe Football Association board has accused the Sports and Recreation Commission of misleading President Emmerson Mnangagwa over their stand-off that could see local football being frozen internationally and want him to intervene.

The SRC, led by Gerald Mlotshwa, suspended the Zifa board in November and Felton Kamambo and crew have been fighting to be reinstated.

Fifa gave SRC until January 3 to reinstate the Zifa executive committee or Zimbabwe face a ban.

The ban would see the Warriors kicked out of the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations finals starting in a few days.

Zifa banked on Fifa intervention but so far SRC has remained unfazed by the threat of the ban, with Mlothswa saying, they will only respond to direct communication from the world soccer governing body.

Yesterday, Zifa board members launched a scathing attack on SRC, calling on government to investigate the supreme sports body for abuse of office.

Zifa argued that SRC had failed to provide evidence of allegations of abuse of public funds and sexual abuse of female referees among other transgressions.

"Zifa has been asking for evidence from SRC and still got nothing. Up to this day, nothing close to evidence has been publicly shared by the SRC except defamatory allegations against the Zifa executive committee, council and members," Zifa wrote in a statement.

Zifa has threatened to release a dossier on SRC "shenanigans" before the end of the week.

"There is no progress that can come out of the current onslaught on football by the SRC backed by some compromised and soiled stakeholders who believe football must only be supported with them at the helm. Further, the board has resolved to now publish a dossier titled the ‘untold story Zifa and SRC' where all behind the scenes shenanigans by SRC and its advisors shall be exposed and evidence with regards to SRC allegations shall be shared to prove the board's innocence.

"The detailed document on SRC shenanigans will be shared with senior government officers, media and public together with annexures before the 31st of December 2021."

Zifa wants government to make its own inquiry into the standoff.

"The committee believes higher well-meaning offices were misled by the SRC into believing that Zifa is guilty of allegations raised by the SRC.

"The executive committee now calls upon those offices to check for themselves and even directly from Zifa if at all any of those allegations can pass any objective test."

According to Zifa, SRC acted against national interests and sabotaged the country.

"The Zifa board, therefore, calls for an open inquiry into the conduct, motive and decisions of this current SRC board which it believes is anti-development and has acted against national interest. Its actions are tantamount to deliberate sabotage of the sport, persecution of individuals within Zifa by some individuals within SRC, confusion creation and a display of ineptitude in the regulation of sport in our country."

Zifa begged the government to avert a situation  where the Warriors would be kicked out of Afcon.

"The Zifa board, therefore, calls on government not to be misled by the SRC board and urges it to help the nation evade these potential but unnecessary and avoidable sanctions on our beloved game which are being invited by the SRC.

"We call for urgent intervention by government to stop this SRC sojourn to destruction on a premise which under any circumstances cannot be factually, objectively and legally justified."

SRC was accused of setting the government against Zifa by misleading it on the conduct of the soccer mother body.

"Further, the Zifa executive committee is well aware of the false gospel being peddled that the suspensions have blessings of the highest office in the land and, therefore, contesting same is fighting the highest office in the land.

"The Zifa executive committee would, however, like to set the record straight, that it is in no way fighting government. Neither is it fighting the highest office in the land.

"The Zifa board respects the government and the country's leadership and has never acted in ways that suggest otherwise.

"The latest attempt to set the Zifa board against the powers that be are, therefore, only desperate efforts by the SRC and its band of ‘advisors' to solicit support from the government on their indefensible acts.

"The board is also willing to present itself any day to any government office to show evidence of its innocence and hope the SRC can avail its own proof too including that it has been the best Zifa board so far in more than 30 years of our football.

"The board is very clear that Mlothswa and his fellow board members are not the government, and that opposing their faulty decisions is, therefore, not fighting the government, but legally defending its reputation that is being shattered.

"The Zifa board believes that if allowed to continue, SRC's actions have an effect of soiling the country and its leadership's image."

Following Fifa's letter to Zifa where the world governing body gave January 3 reinstatement ultimatum, SRC declined to respond saying the letter was not addressed to it.

SRC does not want to engage in any discussion with the suspended Zifa board members.

"We don't have any official correspondence from Fifa giving us any deadline for re-reinstatement.

"What we have seen in the media is a letter purportedly from Fifa addressed to a suspended member of Zifa," said Mhlotswa.

Source - NewsDay Zimbabwe
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