Fifa probes South­ern Re­gion

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Ricky Zililo

FIFA has asked Zifa to sub­mit the con­tro­ver­sial con­sti­tu­tional amend­ments pro­posed by the South­ern Re­gion for as­sess­ment to see if they are com­pat­i­ble with the world foot­ball gov­ern­ing body’s statutes.

Zifa South­ern Re­gion board mem­ber Tumediso Mokoena Ndlovu, act­ing Zifa Bu­l­awayo Metropoli­tan Prov­ince chair­man Fran­cis Ntuta and Zifa Mata­bele­land North chair­man De­nis Tshuma are sig­na­to­ries of the con­tro­ver­sial doc­u­ment ti­tled “Pro­posed amend­ments to the con­sti­tu­tion from the South­ern Re­gion” that was sent to the na­tional as­so­ci­a­tion.

The re­gion wants 10 ar­ti­cles of the con­sti­tu­tion amended, with the big­gest be­ing the re­duc­tion of PSL del­e­gates to the Zifa congress from 16 to just four.

The South­ern Re­gion also wants the Zifa head­quar­ters to be moved to 160 En­ter­prise Road, Harare — a prop­erty owned by Zifa pres­i­dent Philip Chiyangwa. Zifa owns 53 Liv­ing­stone Av­enue in Harare, which had been used as the as­so­ci­a­tion’s head­quar­ters un­til the Chiyangwa ad­min­is­tra­tion took of­fice.

The South­ern Re­gion is also lob­by­ing for the re­turn of re­gional chair­per­sons to the Zifa board after their au­to­matic seats were abol­ished by the 2013 con­sti­tu­tion that re­duced the size of the ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee to eight.

Th­ese pro­pos­als have drawn the ire of some sec­tors of the foot­ball com­mu­nity that have ques­tioned the sin­cer­ity of the re­forms.

Fifa gen­eral sec­re­tary Fatma Samoura wrote to Zifa on Oc­to­ber 25 ask­ing the na­tional as­so­ci­a­tion to sub­mit the pro­pos­als set to be dis­cussed at to­day’s Zifa board meet­ing at Chiyangwa’s 160 En­ter­prise Road busi­ness premises in the cap­i­tal.

Chron­i­cle Sport is in pos­ses­sion of the let­ter ad­dressed to Chiyangwa and copied to Caf.

The pro­posed con­sti­tu­tional re­forms are also set to be de­lib­er­ated on at the Zifa Assem­bly to be held at a Harare ho­tel to­mor­row.

“It has come to our at­ten­tion that the Zifa an­nual gen­eral meet­ing sched­uled to take place on 29 Oc­to­ber 2016 is al­legedly ex­pected to pro­nounce it­self on some con­sti­tu­tional amend­ments that have been sub­mit­ted by a mem­ber. It ap­pears one of the pro­posed changes also re­lates to the com­po­si­tion of the gen­eral meet­ing that has only re­cently been agreed upon fol­low­ing a ded­i­cated statutes re­vi­sion process.

“In this con­text, we kindly ask you to sub­mit to us the pro­posed changes prior to the hold­ing of the an­nual gen­eral meet­ing in or­der to al­low us to as­sess their com­pat­i­bil­ity with the Fifa Statutes as well as the Fifa stan­dard statutes,” Samoura wrote.

It could not be as­cer­tained by last night whether Zifa had re­sponded to the Fifa let­ter.

Zifa com­mu­ni­ca­tions man­ager Xolisani Gwe­sela ini­tially evaded ques­tions posed to him by Chron­i­cle Sport ask­ing this re­porter to call after 15 min­utes. At­tempts to later reach him were un­suc­cess­ful as his mo­bile num­ber was un­reach­able.

For­mer Zifa pres­i­dent Vin­cent Pamire took a swipe at coun­cil­lors push­ing for con­sti­tu­tional changes, say­ing they were mis­di­rect­ing their en­er­gies in pur­suit of self­ish gains.

“With the War­riors set to rep­re­sent us at next year’s Af­con fi­nals, this is the time foot­ball lead­ers should use to re­unite the na­tion and hunt for re­sources. In­stead, they are putting too much en­ergy in chang­ing the con­sti­tu­tion in pur­suit of self­ish gains,” said Pamire.

“Be­lieve you me, about 90 per­cent of th­ese coun­cil­lors have done noth­ing for foot­ball and are busy fight­ing when no one is fight­ing them. I don’t know what kind of evil spirit got into th­ese peo­ple, who want to amend the con­sti­tu­tion and re­verse the strides taken to­wards safe­guard­ing the doc­u­ment that Fifa ded­i­cated re­sources to help Zim­bab­wean foot­ball gov­er­nance,” he said.

Crit­ics ar­gue that all PSL clubs should at­tend the Zifa Assem­bly, which is do­mes­tic foot­ball’s supreme de­ci­sion-mak­ing body.

The PSL is Zifa’s cash cow, as it di­rectly pays levies to Zifa over and above its af­fil­i­a­tion fees; some­thing the re­gions are strug­gling to do.

Some South­ern Re­gion clubs are not in good stand­ing and owe the league af­fil­i­a­tion fees. — @ZililoR

Philip Chiyangwa

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