THE 2014 Zifa Board elections finally take place today after a failed bid by Harare lawyer Saidi Sangula to halt the polls.
There are four candidates for the presidency — incumbent Cuthbert Dube and three challengers Trevor Carelse Juul, Leslie Gwindi and Nigel Munyati. Omega Sibanda and Elkanah Dube will it out battle for the vice-presidency.
SPECIAL REPORT BY WELLINGTON TONI
There are also four board posts available and these will be contested for by Bernard Gwarada, Tawengwa Hara, Gladmore Muzambi, John Phiri and Fungai Chihuri.
But all eyes will be on the top post — the presidency.
Today, NewsDay Sport looks at the four candidates.
Fifa Southern Region Development Officer Ashford Mamelodi will supervise the elections which will take place after the Annual General Meeting which closes with the dissolution of the current board led by Dube.
“My board managed to revive the Fifa Goal Projects which had been stopped by Fifa for many decades because of financial mismanagement by previous boards. We successfully re-engaged Fifa and the Goal Project Funds are now coming and assisting Zimbabwe.
“The recent completion of the Zifa Village, Accommodation Block, the Conference Centre and the near completion of the artificial turf are clear testimony of the assistance Zifa now gets from Fifa.
“Fifa have just informed us that they will shortly avail us with funds to build a state-of-the-art Zifa Headquarters which will house women football, the Premier Soccer League, the Zimbabwe Football Trust and a Hotel.
“After completion of the Zifa Headquarters, Fifa will again assist us with funds to build Zifa House in Bulawayo.
“The recent CHAN qualification was the biggest success in football performances during the past few decades,” said Dube, who also revealed that he spent $869 000 of his personal money towards Zifa expenses.
He added that using his personal finances, he had paid auditors to produce the 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 audited accounts and would also finance the makeover of the road to the Zifa Village in Mt Hampden.
“I have already initiated negotiations with a potential sponsor which will see the return of the prestigious Zifa Cup.
“Our PSL is the pride of Zifa as evidenced by the way the league has been run over the years and the number of corporates that have partnered with it.
As an important affiliate of Zifa, I will devote energy to maintaining and strengthening the existing working relationship with the PSL as we, together, map a way of transforming Zimbabwean football from being an entity full of potential, promise and opportunities into a business with real economic benefits for its various stakeholders.
“We will never succeed at national level for as long as we do not have a vibrant, well co-ordinated junior strategy that seeks to ‘catch them young’ from the ages of under nine,” the Harare businessman and farmer said.
Turning to the Africa Cup of Nations 2015, Dube said: “In the past campaigns, the nation failed at the last decisive matches, first in Cape Verde and then in Angola. I pledge to lead a team of dedicated men and women whose sole focus will be to leave no stone unturned in our quest to qualify for Afcon 2015.”
Bringing Fifa president Joseph Sepp Blatter in 2011 and facilitating his visit to State House to visit President Mugabe.
Created a working relationship with Fifa leading to his (Dube’s) appointment into Fifa structures and funding of the Zifa Village in Mt Hampden, new Zifa headquarters and regional offices.
Cleaning up the Asiagate match-fixing mess Chan qualification and reviving the Mighty Warriors
Lobbying the government to come up with a separate ministry to look into sport
Failure to attract many sponsors and Dube says that was mainly because of the Asiagate scandal and the general bad name associated with financial mismanagement.
National teams failed to qualify for Afcon and World Cup while junior teams were banned from African tournaments for failing to fulfil fixtures.
High turnover of national team coaches — Norman Mapeza, Madinda Ndlovu, Tom Saintfiet (deported after failing to get a work permit), Rahman Gumbo, Klaus Dieter Pagels and finally Ian Gorowa
Continuing the Golden Jubilee celebrations, rebranding the association, the Hall of Fame, annual wards, celebrity concepts as well as high profile international matches and events.
“I shall invite partners and stakeholders to help develop area zones, districts, provinces and regions. I shall continue to stand out against all forms of corruption; it has no place in our game,” read the manifesto.
“I shall work with local authorities, corporate and international investors in developing infrastructure for local football. Provinces and regions need to own structures. Above all, I will unveil the Zifa president legacy programme whose beneficiaries shall be our grassroots structures.”
Dube also says he has established a relief fund which he says has kept Zimbabwean football running. The programme, he said, included assistance to all national teams, servicing some of the Zifa debts, general administration, Zifa salaries, and other Zifa commitments.
I have been called upon by God to rebuild the beautiful game’
TREVOR CARELSE JUUL
“I HAVE been called upon by God to rebuild the beautiful game which I have loved since I was a kid. My middle name is David. I am the biblical “David” who will deliver local football from the bondage that it is in. I am a very successful businessman who is after results. Even my profession as a developer demands that,” said Juul.
“During my tenure as chairman we managed to secure the first television rights in Zimbabwean football in the match between Zimbabwe and South Africa in which we won 4-1. That was the launch of the Dream Team which later went on a 13-game unbeaten run. Now I want to turn that dream of going to the World Cup into a reality.”
“I would focus my energies on strategies that will take us forward —strategies that will help us revive the icon that our country once aspired to be in football terms. I have already engaged the Minister of Finance (Patrick Chinamasa) on the need to create an enabling environment that will allow incentives for companies that sponsor football or sport in general,” he said.
“History belongs to the past, has been my philosophy. I will also stand by what Fifa said with regards to that,” he said. He said he also intends to assist clubs to develop new revenue streams, developing and strengthening women’s football with the aim of qualifying for the World Cup.
Among his other wishes are taking care of the welfare of former players, developing a Hall of Fame in Harare and Bulawayo and creating a Sports Medical doctors fraternity to provide the required care for players. Establishing a formal working relationship with the government, enabling environment for investment and sponsorship in football is also top on his list of priorities.
On Thursday, he stormed the Zifa offices demanding the voters’ roll, saying he wanted to see the names of the 58 people who will vote today. He failed to access that and was referred to the Electoral Committee and instead approached the Sports Commission for answers.
‘Zifa affiliates need total computerisation’
This is what he said:
All Zifa affiliates need total computerisation, linked to the centre to promote good governance, transparency, timeous data analysis and complete adherence to constitutional requirements.
Zifa as a public entity and should also submit itself to the requirement of such an operation, routinely producing financial year-end accounts and audits while keeping a clean and open asset register to embolden its image.
Failure to adopt a sound financial model has resulted in the game accruing debts, suffer market suspicion and corporate and public mistrust yet the association has potential to thrive.
Reintroduce the Zifa Cup whether under a sponsor banner of FA, a crucial arm of development of the game where teams from all levels of the game get to compete in one competition.
Zifa could tap into Fifa’s
US$250 000 Financial Assistance Programme (FAP) once it agrees to the global soccer body’s code.
We will draw a line and say (government come in and take over the debt) while as the new board we start on a fresh page.”
‘Zifa needs proper planning’
This is what he said:
Proper planning. After planning, you would then want to see how you are going to cascade the programmes down to grassroots levels. We would then come up with a programme to review our plan at certain intervals.”
As soon as I get into office, I would start by sorting out the Warriors kit deal which I know very well will bring some revenue. We would create Diaspora chapters to try and widen our support base. We should also take advantage of the Warriors’ performance at Chan and sell the products in South Africa and the United Kingdom for now.
“All our creditors understand us. They need to be treated as human beings. The other debt that belongs to Kentaro, we will then talk to the government to take over as it was a Tourism ministry event that was not ours.
The Voters Roll
PREMIER Soccer League-16 (Dynamos, Highlanders, Harare City, FC Platinum, Caps United, Chicken Inn, How Mine, Triangle, Shabanie Mine, Hwange, Chapungu, Chiredzi FC, Buffaloes, ZPC Kariba, Bantu Rovers and Black Rhinos
Regions — 16 (four from each region — Southern, Northern, Eastern, Central)
Provinces — 10
Zimbabwe Women Soccer League-4
National Association of Primary School Heads (NAPH) — 2
National Association of Secondary School Heads (NASH) — 2
Tertiary Education — 2
Area Zones — 4
Futsal — 1
Beach Soccer — 1
Total — 58