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Meetings drag Zim football back

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IT has been yet another tumultuous week for Zimbabwean football after the disbandment of the Warriors and a period of grace offered to the technical team before this coming weekend’s board meeting.

NewsDay Editorial

To say there have been too many board meetings without results couldn’t be nearer the truth — the real issue is that the meetings seem to drag Zimbabwean football backwards and offer no real solutions on the way forward.

While the nation is naturally disappointed that Zimbabwe did not qualify for both the 2012 and 2013 Africa Cup of Nations finals and there is need for a total recall, we also need to have clarity on the future of the game.

From our understanding, a decision was made by the board that the entire Warriors squad and the technical team would be dissolved and a new set-up put in place, but less than 24 hours later the coaches had miraculously survived.

Our major worry is this flip-flopping. It has to end and proper things, agreed to during properly constituted meetings, followed.

We need progress and to this end we need proper decision-making from those in office. Ninety percent of the term of office of the current Zifa board has achieved three things-a prolonged fight against corruption and match-fixing and neglected football development and two failures to qualify for the Afcon finals.

We need an end to all this and demand results on the field of play.
If there is one thing the board did right, it was to let the Premier Soccer League run its full course without hindrance and then deal with the bans/suspensions/fines at the end of it.

There was a huge outcry when life bans were announced and the general feeling, unfortunately, seemed to point to a deliberate plan to derail one team and favour another. Interestingly, the team is not even the worst affected by the bans as others have nine players facing “death sentences” from football.

Nonetheless, we believe Zifa did the right thing and, perhaps, there would also be leniency towards some of the players, especially the younger generation.

We also applaud the decision by Guthrie Zhokinyi to apologise for getting involved whether willingly or not. This should work in his favour when he appeals the decision to ban him for life and with his team Dynamos pledging support, he might be back on the field sooner than expected.

So as we go forward, Zifa must make a wholesale announcement of any bans/suspensions/fines and let the process of appeals and natural justice take its course. Understandably, people have been wounded and have the right to recourse within a reasonable time limit.

The wounded people, and the public, need to know the appeal process, members of the appeals committee and, more importantly, that since it’s a judicial body, under Fifa statutes, it has been properly constituted and there are no debates or court orders about its mandate.

The appeal fee must be reasonable to enable the accused to seek recourse. It must be remembered, to this end, that this is a correctional measure, an all-inclusive rehabilitation process for the said offenders.

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