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SRC dares Fifa . . .as Afcon ban looms large

Sport
Fifa does cot condone third party interference in the running of the game and the SRC is quite aware that it has crossed the rubicon, but is determined to forge ahead with  its plans to clean the alleged mess at Zifa.

By Kevin Mapasure

The Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) has admitted that its move to appoint a “Zifa Restructuring Committee” could trigger Fifa sanctions on Zimbabwe which would see the Warriors getting booted out of the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals next year.

Fifa does cot condone third party interference in the running of the game and the SRC is quite aware that it has crossed the rubicon, but is determined to forge ahead with  its plans to clean the alleged mess at Zifa.

SRC board chairperson Gerald Mlotshwa yesterday announced a nine-member committee that will run football in the country following the dissolution of the Zifa board last month.

The Felton Kamambo-led board was dismissed by the SRC over a number of alleged iniquities, chief among them misappropriation of funds.

Kamambo and crew are hoping that a Fifa intervention can save them.

Mlotshwa insisted, however, that the committee announced yesterday was a restructuring entity whose mandate will culminate in the holding of Zifa elections by end of next year.

He reiterated that the SRC is ready for whatever course of action Fifa will take.

“A Fifa ban has been on the cards since the day we opened our mouths to say we are suspending the Zifa board. Fifa statutes oblige them to sanction a board that has been interfered with. The position is that Fifa is Fifa, let them do whatever they consider is proper. Fifa know what we are doing and nothing will come as a surprise to them,” he said.

Football enthusiasts have expressed concern that Fifa sanctions would cripple Warriors’ scheduled trip to the Afcon finals in Cameroon next month.

Mlotshwa said the restructuring committee was expected to come up with a new constitution as well as prepare the roadmap for Zifa elections next year.

The committee has also been tasked to carry out a forensic audit of Zifa for the period December 2018 to December 2021.

Mlotshwa said the Zifa secretariat will be allowed to continue running the game in consultation with the SRC.

The nine-member committee is led by Blessing Rugara, and also includes renowned sports administrator Tommy Sithole, Anna Mguni, Joyce Kapota, Charles Sibanda, Joel Gombera, Brian Moyo, Desmund Ali and Rudo Mugandani.

Rugaga, the founder and chairperson of Circle Capital Group (CCG) — an Africa-focused investment and advisory firm with assets primarily in southern Africa. He is also a member of the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation.

Former Caps United player Sibanda has been roped in to provide his expertise on the playing side, while Kapota’s experience in public relations, particularly in the game, won her a slot.

Former Zimbabwe Olympic chairperson Mguni is expected to provide her international experience as is Sithole, who spent 12 years working with the International Olympic Committee in Lausanne, Switzerland.

He also served three four-year terms as secretary-general of the Association of National Olympic Committee of Africa.

On the legal side, there is Mugandani, a partner at Scanlen & Holderness, who has got a number of academic achievements.

Moyo, who was part of the COSAFA senior men local organising committee and a key member of the AUSC Region 5 Youth Games local organising committee has been roped in for his administrative experience.

Ali, a former Banc ABC executive, has experience both in banking and football administration, while Gombera’s strength in marketing attracted the SRC.

SRC board member Nigel Munyati explained that in coming up with the members of the committee, the supreme sports body looked at people with the requisite expertise and experience.

“We looked at people with corporate experience, people with international experience, we looked at people with the legal background, people with football experience, that played the game and love the game, we also looked at the finance side and marketing,” Munyati said.

Follow Kevin on Twitter @kevinmapasure

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