Fifa issues Zimbabwe Sports Council ultimatum on FA stand-off




ZIFA President Felton Kamambo (Lovejoy Mutongwiza/263Chat)

FIFA has given the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) up with to January 3, to reverse its decision to suspend the entire Zifa executive committee or face the consequences of a ban from all forms of international football.

The SRC slapped the Zifa executive committee with an indefinite suspension on November 16, charging them with a cocktail of allegations.

In a letter to the Zifa general secretary Joseph Mamutse, Fifa said it was also committed to investigating all allegations raised by the SRC.

“Therefore, we kindly ask you to inform the SRC that in the event its decision to suspend the Zifa executive committee members and to appoint a ‘restructuring committee’ instead are not reversed before 3 January 2022 at the latest, we would have no other choice, but to submit the present matter to the Bureau of Fifa Council for consideration and decision. Without prejudice to the above, we would like to highlight that Fifa is committed to investigating the aforesaid allegations brought forward by the SRC as soon as the latter has shared with our independent judicial bodies all relevant documentation brought before ordinary courts in Zimbabwe and for which we understand no decision has been taken by these courts to date,” wrote Kenny Jean-Marie, Fifa chief member association officer in the letter to Mamutse.

Jean-Marie said Fifa and the SRC exchanged on a couple of occasions by phone and videoconference call in order (i) for the former to fully grasp the background facts and consequences of the suspension imposed by the latter on the Zifa executive committee; and (ii) to work together towards a swift and positive outcome to the presented situation.

“Accordingly, it was agreed with the SRC during the aforementioned discussions that a draft roadmap for 2022 would be shared with Zifa for implementation, including the resolution of the most urgent issues mentioned, with close monitoring by Fifa. As a matter of fact, on 14 December 2021, a Zoom meeting was to take place with the Zifa president and the SRC chairperson in order to finalise the relevant roadmap. In return, the SRC was to lift the suspension on Zifa executive committee.

“Eventually, we took note that the SRC chairperson declined to participate in the relevant final meeting and stated that the draft roadmap presented by Fifa was inadequate as it could allegedly not be implemented in practice by the Zifa executive committee members who shall remain suspended. Instead, on 17 December 2021, the SRC informed Fifa that it had appointed a ‘restructuring committee’ composed of nine members, which tenure would end by no later than 31 December 2022.

“As a whole, we would like to stress that we are seriously concerned about the state of relationship between Zifa and the SRC for the past couple of years. As mentioned in our correspondence of 29 August 2019, Fifa encourages close cooperative relations between its member associations and the respective national governmental authorities.

“Fifa also expects from its member associations to be fully accountable for and, if required, to submit to the said authorities all relevant information regarding the use of public funds, as per the relevant national legislation. Fifa additionally supports regular reporting by its member associations to

the said governmental authorities and the appropriate guidance from the latter. Furthermore, Fifa has a zero-tolerance policy to any form of corruption as well as sexual abuses of any sort in football,” wrote Fifa. – Chronicle