HomeSportSoccerSport Comment: Professionals needed at Zifa

Sport Comment: Professionals needed at Zifa

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A three-man Fifa delegation has been in the country for a week now meeting all relevant football stakeholders with the main aim of drilling one thing into their minds — professionalism.

Defined, the word simply means competence or skill. After the Kariba Declaration of last year, the running of football should have been a step up in terms of deliverance.

Perhaps, the top-flight league has been able to move some way up thanks to the professionalism or competence displayed by its chief executive officer Kennedy Ndebele and the league’s major sponsors Delta Beverages and cup sponsors Net One and BancABC. So far, the league has been running smoothly with Ndebele sticking to the resolutions made by the clubs at the beginning of the season.

One such resolution was that all postponed games would be played midweek.

Highlanders and Kiglon tried to circumvent that by trying to play their postponed matches over the weekend, but found Ndebele simply unyielding.

That is what is called a good step towards gaining professionalism.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of Zifa — no matter how hard they have tried since the passing of the Kariba Declaration.

Everything is in the hands of chief executive Jonathan Mashingaidze and president Cuthbert Dube. Without the pair, Zifa seems to be dysfunctional.

In his last visit in July, Fifa development officer for the Southern Region Ashford Mamelodi said it was a pity to see Mashingaidze running like a headless chicken doing basically everything when other jobs can easily be delegated to subordinates.

He simply meant, the secretariat was understaffed or perhaps overstaffed with incompetent individuals inherited from the past administration.

It seems Mashingaidze has no trust in those individuals simply because the previous administration had little to do with corporate governance or administration.

Understandably, he would try to do all things himself, but that is not the way Fifa wants football to be run.

There should be a competent media officer in place, operations manager, competitions manager, finance and administration officer and marketing officer.

This is because board members are part-timers and need full-time people in office to run those various portfolios on a day-to-day basis on their behalf.

At the Premier Soccer League, once all recommendations by Fifa are put in place, full-time people will man the office.

And unfortunately for Cuthbert Mutandwa, the position of executive secretary does not exist in the new hierarchy that Fifa wants as there is a CEO in office. He will have to be re-assigned.

It is our hope that Zifa has learnt something this whole week and with Fifa always willing to assist, their recommendations will be adopted that will eventually see a more efficient Zifa running football.

While money issues have delayed the appointment of key personnel at Zifa, the first step is the willingness to have those people in place.

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