FIFA ready to kickstart process to get Zimbabwe’s national teams playing again; delegation already in the country

Spread the love

A delegation from the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA) is in Zimbabwe to begin a process that will ultimately lead to the lifting of the country’s suspension from international football.

This is a second visit by a FIFA mission to Zimbabwe since April 2023. At its conclusion, a structure would have been installed, most probably as a result of a compromise on the part of both FIFA and the government of Zimbabwe represented by the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC).

Reports suggest that the first was a fact-finding mission to understand the impasse that led to the suspension of the Felton Kamambo-led Zimbabwe Football Association Executive Committee by SRC, a move that resulted in the suspension of Zimbabwe from international football.

If FIFA were to have its way, the suspended board led by Kamambo would return to complete its term and conduct a election to usher in a new council and executive committee.

But SRC chairperson Gerald Mlotshwa has consistently intimated that the regulatory body will never consider allowing Kamambo, his treasurer Philemon Machana, and former Referees Committee chairperson, Briton Malandule, anywhere near ZIFA again. The trio were accused of several issues, among them fraud and sexual harassment.

FIFA’s second visit has led many to believe that the global football aristocracy has probably softened its once rigid ‘no-Kamambo-no-football’ stance after speaking to several local football stakeholders in April.

Indications are that the delegation, which includes Zimbabwean who works for FIFA in Zurich, Solomon Mudege, will head hunt individuals to lead ZIFA in the interim until elections for a new council and executive committee are held. The set up is referred to as a normalisation committee.

Sources close to the developments revealed that some of the individuals have already been picked, including a new Chief Executive Officer to lead operations of the secretariat.

The process, whatever form it will take, is expected to be announced to the Zimbabwean public any time this week.

Sports minister Kirsty Coventry recently promised stakeholders that a significant development will happen in Zimbabwean football in three weeks, and the third week begins on 4 July.

“I can’t disclose a lot but I can say in the next three weeks we are going to take a big step,” Coventry said then.

If indeed a new development is announced before the end of the week, the minister’s word would have come to pass. Refreshing considering the several promises she has made about renovations at the national sports stadium that have come to naught.

Zimbabwe was suspended from international football on 24 February due to what FIFA termed third party interference in the running of ZIFA affairs by SRC.

This followed the suspension of the Kamambo-led executive committee on 21 November 2021 by SRC on behalf of the ministry responsible for football.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *