Zim suc­cess raises Fifa’s in­ter­est

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Grace Chin­goma

FIFA rep­re­sen­ta­tive Ash­ford Mamelodi said Zim­babwe has crept onto the Fifa radar fol­low­ing the re­cent ex­ploits of the War­riors and Mighty War­riors and the new global foot­ball lead­er­ship could help Zifa main­tain the mo­men­tum.

Zifa are be­ing weighed down by a crip­pling debt of about $6 mil­lion which has de­railed foot­ball de­vel­op­ment in the coun­try.

Mamelodi is here on a fact-find­ing mis­sion and yes­ter­day met with var­i­ous stake­hold­ers who made their sub­mis­sions paint­ing a gloomy pic­ture on the state of foot­ball in the coun­try.

T h e stake­hold­ers ap­pealed to the Fifa point per­son to res­cue them with cred­i­tors cry­ing foul that they have found n o joy from Zifa’s lead­er­ship while for­mer ad­min­is­tra­tors said Zifa’s legacy should be pro­tected. Af­ter hear­ing sub­mis­sions on his first day of meeting the stake­hold­ers such as for­mer Zifa ad­min­is­tra­tors who were rep­re­sented by Fran­cis Zimunya, Ndu­miso Gumede and Euse­bio Maseko, for­mer Zifa em­ploy­ees and cred­i­tors such as CBZ Bank, Air Zim­babwe, Hol­i­day Inn, Daisy Lodge, Traverze Travel Agent, Ijarna Tours among oth­ers, Mamelodi said he was not em­pow­ered to make any pro­nounce­ments. But he said he was the world govern­ing body will re­visit Zim­babwe's case af­ter read­ing his re­port. “The pas­sion that comes through is very touch­ing, peo­ple who love the sport so much, who are will­ing to give free time and spend their money, it is ready ad­mirable,” s a i d Mamelodi. “Un­for­tu­nately, I can’t prom­ise you any­thing. We have a very big in­sti­tu­tion at Fifa, the only good thing is that it is un­der a new man­age­ment and be­ing a new man­age­ment they prob­a­bly want to try and do things bet­ter than it was done be­fore.

“And Zim­babwe is on the radar, make no mis­take, a team that qual­i­fied at the rate at which you guys qual­i­fied, some­body has to sit up and say what’s go­ing on here, how come you seem to be do­ing so well on pa­per in terms of qual­i­fi­ca­tion and yet we are told of a cri­sis?

“Fifa wants good case ex­am­ples and Zifa must be trans­formed into a per­fect case ex­am­ple for the rest of the con­ti­nent to learn from, why not?

“And I think we have a very strong op­por­tu­nity in this coun­try so we will do ev­ery­thing we can, we are not go­ing to let you (down).”

Var­i­ous pre­sen­ters be­moaned the col­laps­ing of foot­ball struc­tures, se­ri­ous dis­re­gard of the con­sti­tu­tion by the mother body when they pre­ma­turely dis­solved Zifa and formed Nafaz be­fore re­vert­ing to Zifa, com­plaints from for­mer Zifa em­ploy­ees who were un­fairly dis­missed and not given their ben­e­fits as well as com­plaints from ser­vice providers who are owed a lot of money.

“We will take what­ever in­for­ma­tion is availed to us and we will share it with Fifa. They will come back one way or the other, they will come back,” said Mamelodi.

“Be­lieve you me seat­ing here and lis­ten­ing is very im­por­tant to the sub­mis­sions that have been made. Peo­ple, speak­ing from the heart and show­ing a great deal of pas­sion. “I have al­ways said this coun­try amazes me. “I mean even as we sit here in a cri­sis, per­ceived or other­wise, you still qual­ify for Af­con, you still qual­ify for women Af­con, the ladies have just come back from Brazil, and you are six mil­lion in the red.

“This coun­try is amaz­ing as­sum­ing you didn’t have the prob­lems that you have, I think you would have been to the World Cup and chal­leng­ing.

“I want to re­ally thank you sin­cerely. It is a pity, I don’t have a de­ci­sion to make, surely if I did, I would have made one now.

“I am not at the level to make de­ci­sions but what I can as­sure you is that by what­ever means, I think things have to im­prove.

“I can’t say whether by top­pling the new or­gan­i­sa­tion or what but all I can say is that things must im­prove.

“Ev­ery­one who spoke, spoke from the heart, I mean the dis­ad­van­taged staff, they spoke from the heart not only wor­ried about the money but wor­ried about the state of foot­ball like Ma (Har­riet) Samkange who said she was proud of work­ing for Zifa, she felt she made her con­tri­bu­tions.

“I would be in­ter­act­ing again with Zifa board af­ter get­ting the in­put of ev­ery­body.”

Ash­ford Mamelodi

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