Govt con­demns ugly foot­ball pol­i­tics

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Ed­die Chikamhi

THE Min­istry of Sport and Recre­ation yes­ter­day de­nounced the cur­rent board­room “pol­i­tick­ing” in foot­ball ad­min­is­tra­tion and urged Zifa and PSL to find a last­ing so­lu­tion to their con­flict over rel­e­ga­tion and pro­mo­tion.

Ad­dress­ing a me­dia con­fer­ence in Harare yes­ter­day, Hlong­wane was also con­cerned that foot­ball, of late, had been at­tract­ing neg­a­tive head­lines fol­low­ing the wave of sus­pen­sions in the game.

Hlong­wane said the in­tegrity of the game was at stake and ap­pealed “for cool heads to pre­vail.”

“The Min­istry of Sport and Recre­ation wishes to in­form the na­tion that the events un­fold­ing within the foot­ball sec­tor in gen­eral and its ad­min­is­tra­tion in par­tic­u­lar are of con­cern to the Gov­ern­ment,” said Hlong­wane.

“We de­plore, in the strong­est terms pos­si­ble, the cul­ture of tak­ing hasty de­ci­sions that seem to be in­formed by ex­pe­di­ency rather than ra­tio­nal thought­ful­ness.”

He said the tim­ing for the an­nounce­ment of the rel­e­ga­tion pro­ce­dure was not right.

“You are al­lowed in man­age­rial and lead­er­ship ex­pe­ri­ence to make a de­ci­sion and de­fer it. For ex­am­ple in this par­tic­u­lar case it should have been de­ferred to af­fect the fol­low­ing sea­son es­pe­cially given the fact that an agree­ment had been made by the Con­gress, how­ever faulty that agree­ment was,” said Hlong­wane.

“But to say two games be­fore the end of the sea­son you change the tem­plate com­pletely and we had a whole year of plan­ning by clubs, share­hold­ers, in­vestors and so on, does not in­spire con­fi­dence in us in terms of the de­ci­sion-mak­ing pro­cesses at the level of foot­ball au­thor­i­ties in the coun­try.

“That doesn’t show com­pre­hen­sive­ness. That doesn’t show that there is a 360 de­gree un­der­stand­ing of is­sues. Ob­vi­ously, as Gov­ern­ment we don’t want to mi­cro­man­age foot­ball in the coun­try. That’s not our job, our job is to prof­fer ad­vice and to as­sist them to do things prop­erly.”

The Min­is­ter said the foot­ball mother body should put their house in or­der as a mat­ter of ur­gency.

He was par­tic­u­larly wor­ried with the “pol­i­tick­ing” which he felt has led to a spate of sus­pen­sions of PSL lead­ers in re­cent weeks. The league’s chair­man Peter Dube, High­landers chief executive Ndu­miso Gumede and Caps United board chair­per­son Lewis Uriri were all ban­ished for var­i­ous of­fences. How­ever, Uriri’s ban was later lifted. “There has been a spate of sus­pen­sions by the foot­ball au­thor­i­ties in the coun­try; sus­pen­sions of those that are smaller by those that are big­ger.

“And we feel that those sus­pen­sions are not just too many but in cer­tain in­stances we have seen re­ver­sal of those sus­pen­sions which then in­forms us that the ar­rival at those de­ci­sions in the first place was not in­formed by fact, it was not in­formed by rea­son, it was not in­formed by logic and it was not in­formed by ra­tio­nal thought.

“Even in the re­ver­sal cer­tain in­di­vid­u­als are then re­moved from the sus­pen­sion with­out hav­ing to go through due process and oth­ers are left un­der sus­pen­sion.

“This only shows that this is not a prop­erly func­tion­ing sys­tem of ad­min­is­tra­tion. And for us as Gov­ern­ment that os­cil­la­tion be­tween left and right is of great con­cern and we want to cau­tion that our foot­ball au­thor­i­ties must make sure that they put their house in or­der. They shouldn’t hob from crisis to crisis; they shouldn’t hob from one ad­min­is­tra­tive er­ror to an­other.

“There­fore, we think that foot­ball ad­min­is­tra­tion in the coun­try should ould not op­er­ate on the ba­sis of ex­pe­di­ency. Foot­ball ad­min­is­tra­tion should also be tol­er­ant of views that are dif­fer­ent be­cause they are im­por­tant to nour­ish their de­ci­sion mak­ing pro­cesses.

“Zifa is not a po­lit­i­cal or­gan­i­sa­tion, it’s a foot­ball ad­min­is­tra­tion au­thor­ity and we want foot­ball lead­er­ship in the coun­try to be cau­tious in terms of how they ar­rive at th­ese de­ci­sions,” said Hlong­wane.

The Min­is­ter, how­ever, said Gov­ern­ment was im­pressed by the achieve­ments of the Phillip Chiyangwa-led board since it took over of­fice last year. He com­mended the Mighty War­riors qual­i­fi­ca­tion for the Olympic Games and the Caf Africa Women’s Cup of Na­tions and the War­riors’ feat to reach next year’s Africa Cup of Na­tions in Gabon.

“It’s a mixed bag. Un­der the dis­pen­sa­tion of the cur­rent board we have seen suc­cess on the field of play as far as the se­nior na­tional teams are con­cerned. We are very happy and that is ob­vi­ously a cause for cel­e­bra­tion.

“(But) we worry a lot ev­ery time the Con­gress of the ul­ti­mate foot­ball au­thor­i­ties in the coun­try does sit. We worry about the de­ci­sions that they take.

“Like I said be­fore we don’t want our foot­ball au­thor­i­ties to be seem­ingly hop­ping from crisis to crisis.

“So the qual­ity of de­ci­sion-mak­ing pro­cesses within the struc­tures of foot­ball in our coun­try need to be strength­ened. The ca­pac­ity is­sues need strength­en­ing.

“It is very clear that it is re­quired so that po­lit­i­cal is­sues do not take prece­dence over im­por­tant struc­tural development is­sues for foot­ball in our coun­try.

“We think that there is a lot of work that the cur­rent Zifa board should apply it­self to in re­spect of development, strengthen the struc­tures. And we see no need for un­nec­es­sary pol­i­tick­ing at the ex­pense of development,” said Hlong­wane.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Zimbabwe

© PressReader. All rights reserved.