NOBODY is immune to making mistakes, we are human, after all. But it ceases to be a mistake when we repeat it.
This is the situation in which the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) is embroiled in following its suspension of the entire Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) executive committee.
The suspension of the Felton Kamambo-led executive yesterday came against the backdrop of the Warriors’ dismal performance in the World Cup qualifiers, where they finished bottom of their group with two points.
This was the worst performance by the national team in years.
It seems SRC used emotion instead of reason in suspending the Zifa board on flimsy grounds.
It’s unbelievable how the SRC believes its actions are a master-stroke to save football in this country. We love football in this country, but the decision speaks of the elitist nature of the SRC’s composition.
Selfishness is usually associated with the elite who don’t take time to understand the will of the masses.
This suspension is likely to stir a hornet’s nest as Fifa is likely to respond with sanctions that include a ban on national teams from international competitions.
According to Fifa statutes, governments are not allowed to interfere with the running of football associations.
Article 17 of Fifa regulations reads: “Each member shall manage its affairs independently and with no influence from third parties.”
In this case, SRC is a third party and its meddling may result in Fifa banning Zimbabwe from international games at a time when the country is among African countries that qualified for the continental football jamboree, Africa Cup of Nations, to be held in Cameroon next year.
Fifa takes exception to government interference in football matters because it feels that member nations should be free to run their affairs.
This is not the first time that SRC has crossed paths with international sport governing bodies as its forced climbdown on the suspension of Zimbabwe Cricket in July last year is still fresh in our minds.
SRC accused ZC of maladministration, but the International Cricket Council (ICC) responded by banning Zimbabwe from all cricket activities.
This is likely to recur resulting in the ban of national football teams from all international games because of an adamant SRC board decision that is devoid of reason.
We understand that SRC, an arm of government, might be of the opinion that it funds the association in a way through stadium renovations and sometimes sponsorship, but that does not give it the mandate to interfere with the affairs at Zifa.
SRC must learn from its past mistakes and find better ways to address issues affecting football in the country instead of inviting a ban of the most beautiful game.
Everyone is pained by Zimbabwe’s failure to qualify for the World Cup final round qualifier, but it does not warrant a harsh decision that will cost the nation its ticket to Afcon.
In fact, SRC should have called an all-stakeholders conference and influenced decisions through its many proxies within the association or surrogates, whoever they are.