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ZOC challenges Zifa, sports bodies

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The Zimbabwe Olympic Committee (ZOC) has challenged sports administrators in the country and in particular the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) to improve the way they govern their sporting affairs.

ZOC chief executive officer Anna Mguni lamented the way the country’s sporting scene was riddled with maladministration.

Mguni was officially opening a Fifa administration and management course for provincial and regional administrators in Harare yesterday.

The course was graced by Zifa chief executive officer Jonathan Mashingaidze, women’s football boss Mavis Gumbo and Premier Soccer League board member for development Cuthbert Chitima, among other dignitaries.

Fifa instructors Henry Tandau and Tim Shongwe are conducting the course which touches on various issues that include finance, events management and sponsorship.

“Effective and efficient sports administration and management are the single greatest area of weakness in Zimbabwean sports today. Without sound management practice, good governance and accountability will not take place. All this requires a holistic approach to encourage sound management,” said Mguni.

“Zimbabwean sport is beset with controversy, poor results and performance and lack of funding. Potential sponsors and supporters want a good return on investment that is backed up by sound administration and good practice.”

Zimbabwe’s sporting scene is glaringly marked by underachievement which could be been traced down to various administrative positions in sports being manned by unqualified personnel.

Mguni advised that administrators to obtain requisite qualifications that would pass them as fit to run relevant sporting disciplines.

“I encourage all sport administrators at any level of sport administration to have the minimum qualifications such as a basic sports administration course, certificates, diplomas and beyond.

“Modern sport requires modern trends in administration and coaching; it is no longer sufficient to run clubs and leagues without a professional approach,” she said.

Despite commanding a huge following more than any other discipline in the country, football remains sponsorship-starved.

“Football is the most popular sport and high profile so administrators need to ensure they are getting it right according to best practice,” said Mguni.

“Sadly, football remains one of those areas where we find unplanned activities and programmes that characterise the way we do business. As a nation we need to take a step back and clearly define what our perspective on spirit is.

“Zifa will have to deal with the scandals, the negative publicity, changing requirements of governing bodies, changes of major funders. If you ignore such changes, you risk criticism and censure,” she said.

The course, which began on Monday, ends at the weekend.

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