Zifa awaits Fifa rul­ing

Zifa stench reaches FIFA

The Sunday Mail (Zimbabwe) - - FRONT PAGE - Makom­borero Mu­timukulu Sports Edi­tor

THE elec­toral stink at Zifa has reached Zurich, and world foot­ball gov­ern­ing body Fifa are ex­pected to send a fact-find­ing mis­sion to Harare to get to the bot­tom of what is fast be­com­ing a soc­cer cesspit.

De­cem­ber 1, 2018 was sup­posed to be the day when lo­cal foot­ball elected its next Zifa board. How­ever, a script seem­ingly writ­ten by the devil has lo­cal foot­ball in a sham­bles.

The elec­tions have been moved to De­cem­ber 16 as the polls have now been resched­uled twice.

There is now a push from some in­ter­ested par­ties to have them fur­ther post­poned to Jan­uary 2019, and for them to be held un­der Fifa’s su­per­vi­sion.

The elec­tions are turn­ing into the un­wanted gift that keeps giv­ing un­wanted drama.

Phillip Chiyangwa and Omega Sibanda for long looked a shoo-in to re­tain their re­spec­tive posts as Zifa pres­i­dent and vi­cepres­i­dent un­op­posed.

Bids from their re­spec­tive chal­lengers Fel­ton Ka­mambo and Gift Banda were thrown out by the Elec­toral Com­mit­tee be­fore the Ap­peals Com­mit­tee put its seal of ap­proval.

The Ap­peals Com­mit­tee’s de­ci­sion was sup­posed to be fi­nal. But in an un­prece­dented twist, the Elec­toral Com­mit­tee last week “re­versed” the higher author­ity’s de­ci­sion.

That is akin to the High Court mak­ing a de­ci­sion, the Supreme Court val­i­dat­ing that de­ci­sion, only for the High Court to re­turn to over­turn that de­ci­sion.

Such stuff can­not es­cape the at­ten­tion of Fifa, which is now ex­pected to send a factfind­ing mis­sion in the “com­ing few days”.

“In their com­mu­ni­ca­tion with some dis­grun­tled can­di­dates, Fifa have hinted at send­ing a mis­sion to Zim­babwe within the com­ing week and ev­ery­one is await­ing that visit,” said an in­formed source yes­ter­day.

Adding to the cir­cus is Ka­mambo brazenly ques­tion­ing the re­la­tion­ship be­tween Chiyangwa and Fifa’s di­rec­tor of devel­op­ment for Africa and the Caribbean, Veron Mosengo-Omba.

In a mis­sive to Samoura, writ­ten on Fri­day and copied to the Con­fed­er­a­tion of African Foot­ball as well as the Sports and Recre­ation Com­mis­sion, Ka­mambo called on Fifa to take over the elec­toral process.

“My ap­peal is that if these elec­tions are to go ahead there must be done in ac­cor­dance with the Zifa con­sti­tu­tion. I am rec­om­mend­ing at least 30 days so that elec­tions can be held on the 5th of Jan­uary 2019 or any day af­ter.

“Fifa must come and su­per­vise the elec­tions but not Veron who is a close con­fi­dante of Phillip Chiyangwa.

“The cur­rent Elec­toral Com­mit­tee must be dissolved for reasons men­tioned above and in my other com­mu­ni­ca­tions. I have lost con­fi­dence in them be­cause they are cap­tured.

“The last ap­peal is for the Zifa sec­re­tariat to re­lo­cate to neu­tral premises with im­me­di­ate ef­fect than be housed at the pres­i­den­tial can­di­date’s of­fices,” reads the let­ter.

Zifa spokesper­son Xolisani Gwe­sela in­sists there was noth­ing un­to­ward about the Chiyangwa-Veron re­la­tion­ship.

“Veron is the Fifa di­rec­tor for devel­op­ment in Africa and he in­ter­acts fre­quently with African foot­ball lead­ers, and it’s im­pos­si­ble for him not to in­ter­act with Dr Phillip Chiyangwa, who is both Zifa and Cosafa pres­i­dent. I don’t see any in­ap­pro­pri­ate re­la­tion­ship there,” said Gwe­sela.

“Let’s not see shad­ows. How do we de­velop the beau­ti­ful game in Zim­babwe if PC doesn’t not in­ter­act with the Fifa di­rec­tor for devel­op­ment in Africa?

“Veron is a very key per­son for the devel­op­ment of foot­ball in Africa and hence the Zifa lead­er­ship have an obli­ga­tion to con­tinue in­ter­act­ing with him for guid­ance and the growth and devel­op­ment of our lo­cal game.

“Even if we are to have new lead­er­ship, it will be their obli­ga­tion to con­tinue in­ter­act­ing with strate­gic Fifa of­fi­cials and there is noth­ing wrong about that.”

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