SRC war with Zifa escalates

THE Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) is prepared to risk the Fifa sanctions which could see all national teams getting banned from international competitions as well as the closure of financial tapes in their bid to clean up football, the body has declared as their fight with Zifa escalates.

BY KEVIN MAPASURE

Yesterday the SRC released a statement to the effect that the body will not be shackled by the possible Fifa sanctions and maintained that the suspension of Zifa secretary general Joseph Mamutse would stand.

This followed Zifa’s plea to Fifa for the world governing body to intervene in their war with the SRC. Zifa argues that SRC’s actions amounted to interference by the government, which Fifa does not tolerate.

Last night SRC released a statement which showed that the body is ready to bite the bullet and face any consequences.

“While cognisant of the possible consequences of our resolve, Zimbabwe cannot compromise its sport development efforts for fear of Fifa retribution. That would be unprincipled of us as a nation. We appreciate the interests of International Sporting Federations in seeing orderly administration. However, this cannot be used against our need to hold accountable, Zimbabwean sport administrators to their mandate that carries a premium on effective, efficient and transparent management,” the statement read.

While ready to face the consequences, the SRC are still hopefully that their actions will earn the support of Fifa.

“To this end, the Board of Commissioners of the SRC shall proffer solutions as accorded by the SRC Act. This will ensure the return of sanity, accountability, transparency and good football administration, hopefully with the support of Fifa, whom we trust share our interest in seeing a properly administered Zifa that acts in the best interest of athletes, the public and the nation at large.

As SRC, we believe that there is no better time to address these issues and we are confident that Zimbabweans will rally behind us as we strive to redress the rot that has sullied our beautiful game. This resolve is evident in the SRC even going to the extent of suspending its own director-general, pending investigation into the management of recent events.

 As stated earlier, the adherence to National laws, policies, guidelines, Association and Club constitutions, and other regulations by all those charged with responsibility for administering sport in Zimbabwe is paramount, and there are no sacred cows.

Subsequent to the recent statements released by the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) between November 26 and 28, which covered several matters relating to the suspension of the general-secretary of Zifa and the SRC director-general; the SRC has noted the concern of the nation’s football stakeholders in both the print and electronic media coverage, and wishes to reiterate matters so that we can all come to a common understanding of what the beautiful game in Zimbabwe needs:

A key component of the Sports and Recreation Commission’s mission is to ensure the proper governance and administration of Sports by National Sport Associations – ZIFA included.

Towards this end, the SRC remains resolute in its decision and shall not be deterred from achieving its objectives;

 It is in this regard that the SRC Board has been obligated to take the actions it has undertaken with regard to Zifa and its own director-general.

 That the quality of football in Zimbabwe has deteriorated is without question, and this is primarily due to poor administration at both Association and Club levels. This has primarily been due to a culture of football administration that is comfortable with sub-standard performance, malpractice and atrocious governance; which has had a negative effect on the country’s ability to succeed in regional, continental and international competitions.”

Earlier in the day Zita had released it’s own statement acknowledging receipt of SRC’s letter suspending Mamutse over poor corporate governance.

The matter relates to the national Under-17 and Women’s senior national teams travelling to South Africa for the Cosafa Cup without approval from the SRC. Zifa is also accused of bungling the Warriors trip for a friendly match to Malawi.

The Under-17 boys’ team was expelled from the Cosafa tournament due to age cheating and the SRC is demanding answers. Zifa are hoping that Fifa sanctions can deter SRC from continuing with their stance. The Warriors could be expelled from the World Cup and Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, if Fifa deem the SRC actions as interference.

Last year the SRC was chastised by Fifa after the Gerald Mlotshwa led body tried to remove the Felton Kamambo-led group to replace it with a normalisation committee.

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