SRC defies FIFA directive

By Thembinkosi Mangena

QUESTIONS have been asked on whether the Sport and Recreation Commission’s recent move to reinstate some of the suspended ZIFA Board Members will be enough to convince the world football governing body, FIFA to re-admit Zimbabwe into international football.

The Sport and Recreation Commission (SRC) this Wednesday announced that it had lifted Barbara Chikosi, Farai Jere and Sugar Chagonda’s suspension from the ZIFA Board, a decision that fell short of FIFA’s demands for Zimbabwe to take part in international football tournaments.

While FIFA made it clear that the SRC should reinstate the entire Felton Kamambo led ZIFA Board, the SRC has not done so, but went on to note the outcome of the ZIFA Extra Ordinary Congress held in April which resolved to appoint Vice President Gift Banda as the Interim President of the local football mother body.

In a statement, SRC Chairperson Gerald Mlotshwa indicated the decision will pave way for the implementation of reforms at ZIFA.

He added that a forensic audit on ZIFA’s financial affairs is complete, with the results set to be made public.

While the SRC is adamant that FIFA and the Confederation of African Football (CAF) are in the picture, there are questions as to whether the world football governing body will budge after making its position clear on what Zimbabwe should do to be readmitted into the international football family.

Zimbabwe has already paid the price of third-party interference in football issues, with the senior men national football team, the Warriors having been booted out of the 2023 AFCON qualifiers which kicked off early this month after the SRC failed to comply with the FIFA directive.

The SRC-ZIFA impasse went into the public domain in October last year when the SRC suspended the Felton Kamambo led ZIFA Board, on a litany of allegations including misappropriation of funds and sexual harassment of female referees.

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