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SRC conduct not out of order

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ONE of the most unique characteristics of pigeons is that they live as a couple and mate their entire life.

GUEST COLUMN:TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA

They are a monogamous lot. If the female pigeon hatches one egg, it kills the chick. They always ensure they live as a couple.

It is in their DNA. They don’t have the capacity to prostitute.

But human beings have the intrinsic propensity to do wrong.

They have the proclivity to prostitute and, therefore, there is need for some form of regulation.

In the same vein, while article 14 of the world soccer governing body Fifa statutes stipulates that member associations should manage their affairs independently without undue influence from a third party, there is need for some form of control of these member associations.

After all, there is nothing like absolute freedom.

So, the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) — the supreme sports governing body cannot be said to be out of order by acting the way it did — suspending Zifa general-secretary Joseph Mamutse to institute investigations into a number of issues understood to be holding back the development of the game in Zimbabwe.

For development to take place in any society, there is need for supervision and SRC — by suspending the Zifa boss to pave way for investigations — is simply performing its mandate as stipulated by the law.

Section 30 of the SRC Act allows it to act the way it did.

If the Act empowers SRC to register and deregister member associations, there is no justification whatsoever to say that the supreme sports governing body cannot launch an investigation into the conduct of a member association.

The SRC did not fire the Zifa chief. It simply asked him to step aside to pave way for investigations into a number of key issues.

It would have been problematic if it had fired Mamutse, but the fact that he was only suspended pending investigation, the Gerald Mhlotshwa-led board cannot be said to be out of order.

They genuinely believe their actions are meant to help clean up the game dogged by a host of problems for decades which have alienated it from the corporate world.

SRC believes that if it folds its arms and watch the game stagnate due to questionable leadership and lack of transparency, it would be tantamount to abrogating its responsibility as a sports regulating body.

It is its belief that it will get the backing of Fifa in its bid to reposition Zimbabwean football.

While its actions are legitimate and take into consideration the national interest, there are fears that they could backfire as Fifa is likely to impose sanctions on Zifa which would mean the banning of all national teams and local clubs from international competitions.

Last year, the SRC wrote to Fifa general-secretary, Fatma Samoura, requesting authority to invoke its powers to remove the entire Zifa leadership from office and replace it with a normalisation committee that would have run the game for a specified period.

However, the world soccer governing body trashed the SRC request, saying the conditions prevailing in Zimbabwean football at the time did not warrant such an action. It believed there was no justification to remove the Felton Kamambo-led Zifa board then.

Had they done that Fifa said it would have been deemed to be interference in the affairs of the association.

‘‘In this context, we must remind you about the contents of article 14 paragraph 1 let. (i) and article 19 paragraph 1 of the Fifa statutes, which stipulate that all member associations are obliged to manage their affairs independently and without undue influence from third parties,’’ Fifa general-secretary Alastair Bell wrote then.

Therefore, should the Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation ministry upon recommendation of SRC, decide to appoint an interim committee to administer the affairs of Zifa, it will be considered undue influence according to the Fifa statutes.

While this is not without precedence, several associations, including the Nigeria Football Association have been suspended before by Fifa following government interference in their affairs, but circumstances may be different.

In the Zimbabwean context, SRC has not dissolved the Zifa board neither has it fired the football federation general-secretary.

It has only suspended him in line with statutes.

The fact that SRC has also suspended its own, Prince Mupazviriho — the director-general — is a clear indication its actions are in the best interests of the national game as opposed to self-serving interests.

The issue of identity is an important aspect of humanity.

There are times when one feels proud with his or her identity that is in most cases when things are well.

But there are also times when identity becomes a burden, especially when there is a lot of negativity about one’s country in the eyes of the world.

The perennial problems at Zifa are a good example.

The problems make you wish you were not born Zimbabwean. They are a result of failure to manage perception.

Thus, the SRC actions are perfectly in order when it intervenes like it did.

People cannot hide behind Fifa while dragging our game several steps backwards.

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