Twine Phiri’s position as the Premier Soccer League (PSL) chairperson has come under serious threat after Zifa yesterday announced a date for an election to choose a new chairperson for the top-flight league next month.
by Kevin Mapasure
A Zifa executive committee meeting yesterday set February 13 as the date where elections will be held to choose Phiri’s successor.
Phiri has been fighting hard in his own corner to maintain his position which Zifa argues is now vacant.
The Zifa board led by Phillip Chiyangwa, which was elected into office on December 5, resolved in its first board meeting last month that the PSL and women’s football should hold elections.
Zifa has come up with varying arguments, saying that when the Zifa board was dissolved by the councillors in October, Phiri also lost his position.
They also argued that Phiri was no longer a governor at Caps United since he no longer owns the club.
Farai Jere is now the majority shareholder at Caps United, while Nhamo Tutisani and Phiri have minority shares.
Recently, Caps United restructured and appointed a board to run the club and the shareholders now play a lesser role.
That board is now led by Advocate Lewis Uriri, a development that could further complicate Phiri’s case.
But after Zifa made the directive for elections at the PSL, Caps United came out in Phiri’s defence, saying that the veteran administrator was still their governor.
PSL statutes stipulate that club presidents and chairpersons are the only ones who can be governors, even though the league has been bending those rules.
Zifa in their meeting yesterday also resolved to meet all PSL governors a day before the elections are scheduled in Harare.
Some of the resolutions from the indaba include that Masvingo Province chairperson elections be held on February 13, and Women League chairperson elections on February 20 the same day there will be polls for Central and Eastern Region presidents.
Beach Soccer will elect its committee the following day. A resolution was also made to lift all Asiagate bans.
Players and officials who were implicated in the match-fixing scandal had already had their bans lifted except administrators such as former Zifa chief executive officer Henrietta Rushwaya.
What Zifa is left with now is a debt that accrued from the whole exercise that includes investigations and interviews.
Yesterday’s meeting also resolved to rename regional chairpersons as presidents, while it was also agreed that Chiyangwa will assume all committee posts previously held by former president Cuthbert Dube in Cosafa, Caf and Fifa.
It is the PSL election resolution that is likely to torch another debate with Phiri and his advocates likely to fight hard.
Phiri has since indicated that he is the legitimate PSL chairperson since his mandate has not been revoked by the clubs.
He may yet survive without going back to the ballot box if the clubs in their meeting with Zifa on February 12 throw their weight behind him.
The PSL, through its chief executive officer Kenny Ndebele, wrote to Zifa informing the mother body that Phiri remained their representative in the board.
Some clubs, however, particularly Dynamos, have backed Zifa’s directive for elections to choose a new chairman.