ZIFA in new crisis as SRC forces it to inspect Magaya’s Heart Stadium; new board fired only qualified inspector in Zimbabwe

Sports Minister Kirsty Coventry and Walter Magaya at The Heart Stadium
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THE Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) might be set for another clash with football leaders after ordering Zimbabwe Football Association’s (ZIFA) Normalisation Committee (NC) to inspect ‘Prophet’ Walter Magaya’s Heart Stadium before its anticipated December 10 opening.

By Bhora Afrika

NC Chairperson Lincoln Mutasa has however, expressed reservations about associating themselves with Magaya following a shadowy Juventus trial session which was eventually dismissed as fake by the Italian giants.

Magaya charged a US$20 fee for every one of the juniors who fell for his ruse and sought a short at making it into the two time European champions’ fold.

A source at SRC who declined to be named said the sports management body was determined to have the ground certified before official opening, where reports indicate President Emmerson Mnangagwa could officiate.

The Heart Stadium

“ZIFA has been told to ensure that Heart Stadium is inspected and certified before its official opening on 10 December,” said the source.

“Although ZIFA seems to want to distance itself from Magaya because of his Juventus gig, the SRC is set on having its way meaning this could potentially be another source of friction.”

Certain sections of society have, however, lauded Magaya for taking a lead in building football infrastructure at a time Zimbabwe does not have a single Confederation of African Football (CAF) approved pitch.

SRC’s decision to suspend ZIFA’s former executive board led to an almost two year ban from international football.

Discussions between government and global body FIFA eventually saw formulation of the NC with SRC’s blessing.

Investigations carried out at ZIFA, however reveal that the association itself does not have a certified Stadium Inspector after axing Xolisani Gwesela, the only one qualified to be one in Zimbabwe.

As it stands ZIFA does not even have a First Instance Board (FIB); the body responsible for assessing stadium inspection reports for approval or otherwise.

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