HomeOpinion & AnalysisColumnistsZifa must refocus on priorities

Zifa must refocus on priorities

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The Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) appears intent on hogging the limelight for the wrong reasons.

Since the so-called Asiagate match-fixing scandal, the domestic football governing body is scaling new heights on corruption allegations which now seek to suck in its president Cuthbert Dube.

Under-fire fellow board member Gift Banda, who represents the Southern Region Division One, indicated in his scathing letter last week the Zifa president may, like all others fingered, need to vacate office temporarily to allow for investigations into his alleged controversial election to his post.

Banda, together with Central Region Division One board member Patrick Hokonya, were said to have received bribes to ensure certain clubs got favourable results in a scam that allegedly involved referees.

The sting has since claimed the scalp of top referees.

In the face of mounting pressure, Banda decided not to take the accusations from his fellow board members lying down.

The Bulawayo-based official has brought up the issue of Dube’s alleged vote-buying on his way up in the elections held on March 27 last year.

He wants Dube to step down and pave way for his investigation. The development illustrates the proverbial cliché that when elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers.

While this happens, sadly it is football that suffers. We no longer hear of any football development structures, but the classic boxing matches featuring the top guys in Zifa. The problem lies with people who came into the football governing body to fight personalities. They are using Zifa to settle personal scores.

We are not saying corrupt officials should not be persecuted, but the rate at which corruption allegations are coming up is alarming. Very soon we will have no Zifa board to talk about.

We urge Zifa officials to concentrate more on the development of the game than personal wars. We want to see the emergence of new Peter Ndlovus and Moses Chungas through sound junior development, but that just cannot happen with the calibre of members who constitute the Zifa board.

While we applaud that they have been doing quite a lot to rid football of corruption, it would appear Dube and his lieutenants are now overdoing it and it has become droning.

Every time they open their mouths it’s all about match-fixing and corruption. Zifa does not need to look further than this public stunt for their failure to attract meaningful sponsorship.

No sponsor wants to be associated with people who wash their dirty linen in public. Zifa board members must learn to solve their issues in-house.

For as long as they continue to fight in public, they should just forget about getting sponsorship or any vote of confidence from key stakeholders.

Dube must ask himself why they have failed to attract sponsorship despite the high-profile exposé of Asiagate. It is because Zifa does not seem to have an idea of how to run football. Their anti-
corruption mantra is now tired.

The sooner they talk about football development, the better. People want to hear how the national teams will prepare for future assignments.

People want to know what structures there are to ensure all national teams qualify for major tournaments.

Dube and company must refocus on the priorities and refocus now!

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