Fifa, Zifa clash looms

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Ngqwele Dube

FIFA yes­ter­day said the par­tic­i­pa­tion of the Zifa pre­sid­ium in the na­tional as­so­ci­a­tion’s sub-com­mit­tees will hin­der their over­sight roles and is con­trary to the world football gov­ern­ing body’s best prac­tice.

Fifa South­ern and East­ern Re­gion de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer Ash­ford Mamelodi said the top lead­er­ship of as­so­ci­a­tions should main­tain a dis­tance from com­mit­tees to en­sure they can in­ter­vene with clean hands and re­solve any is­sues that may arise within those sub-bod­ies.

He said although there was no rule bar­ring the pre­sid­ium from chair­ing sub-com­mit­tees, the con­cern was that it could hin­der them (pre­sid­ium) from per­form­ing their over­sight role.

Zifa pres­i­dent Philip Chiyangwa chairs the ref­er­ees’ com­mit­tee, while his deputy Omega Sibanda chairs four com­mit­tees, the tech­ni­cal de­vel­op­ment, hu­man re­sources, high per­for­mance and ad-hoc dis­ci­plinary.

In 2014, Sibanda, then deputy in the Cuth­bert Dube-led Zifa ad­min­is­tra­tion, re­lin­quished his post as chair­man of the ref­er­ees’ com­mit­tee fol­low­ing an in­duc­tion meet­ing fa­cil­i­tated by Mamelodi. He had ad­vised the board that the pre­sid­ium should not take any other roles, say­ing it was in the best in­ter­est of run­ning the sport, hence changes had to be made.

“The pre­sid­ium should al­ways be two steps above ev­ery other body and they should not en­tan­gle themselves in the com­mit­tees be­cause is­sues can arise within those sub-bod­ies and once a pres­i­dent or vice-pres­i­dent is in­volved, then how do they han­dle the mat­ter. We feel they (pre­sid­ium) should play an over­sight role on those bod­ies to en­sure ev­ery­thing is run­ning smoothly,” said Mamelodi in an in­ter­view yes­ter­day.

He said he was aware that the ref­er­ees’ sit­u­a­tion was a con­tentious is­sue in Zim­bab­wean football and hence Chiyangwa could have de­cided to chair it to re­store or­der.

“Coun­tries are dif­fer­ent and I know in Zim­babwe the ref­er­ees’ is­sue is con­tentious, but the pre­sid­ium should gen­er­ally keep an eye over all com­mit­tees,” Mamelodi said.

Chiyangwa jus­ti­fied his chair­ing of the ref­er­ees’ com­mit­tee by cit­ing the “cri­sis” that had seem­ingly en­gulfed ref­er­ee­ing in lo­cal football.

He said he had to take charge of the com­mit­tee and re­store or­der as the sit­u­a­tion was spi­ralling out of con­trol.

Chiyangwa said he thought he had done well by ap­point­ing Edzai Kasin­auyo, who was later ex­pelled over match fix­ing al­le­ga­tions, and when he gave the re­spon­si­bil­ity to the Premier Soc­cer League chair­man, there was also some hul­la­baloo in the me­dia. “The ref­er­ees com­mit­tee is a sen­si­tive one and that is why I de­cided to take charge to en­sure that we bring san­ity to the sit­u­a­tion. I just had to take the bull by the horns and re­store or­der,” said Chiyangwa. Mamelodi said he would be vis­it­ing Zim­babwe soon to en­gage Zifa and other play­ers in the football fra­ter­nity on a “wide range of is­sues”.

Ash­ford Mamelodi

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