Zifa board to snub EGM

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Felton Kamambo

By TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
Suspended Zifa board members have reportedly ruled out attending the “illegal” Zifa extraordinary general meeting (EGM) set for tomorrow.

The Zifa councillors, with the blessing of the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC), are expected to convene the meeting to revoke the mandate of the Felton Kamambo-led board.

The Zifa board was suspended by the SRC in November last year over allegations of incompetence, corruption and sexual harassment.

Zimbabwe was consequently suspended by Fifa over government interference.

The world soccer governing body said Zifa would only be reinstated after the suspended executive committee members regain control of the game in the country.

A source close to some of those in the Zifa board yesterday said the EGM scheduled for tomorrow was illegal and that the suspended members would not attend.

“It (EGM) is illegal from all angles. The board members are suspended and their cases are before the courts how can they attend under these circumstances? It’s an illegal gathering. Even those delegates suspended by the Zifa board remain suspended because they were not sent by members of Zifa as per the dictates of the constitution, evidence is there,” the source said.

The source added that SRC chairperson Gerald Mlotshwa’s actions were self-serving and did not consider the broader interests of football stakeholders.

The Confederation of African Football (Caf) led by Patrice Motsepe has given Zimbabwe a chance to resolve its domestic issues as it has involved the Warriors in the draw despite the
suspension.

They were drawn against South Africa, Morocco and Liberia. The Warriors have until two weeks before the qualifiers to get the suspension lifted by Fifa.

It is highly unlikely though that they will take to the field, with the SRC adamant that the restructuring committee that it put in place will see through its mandate.

Sports minister Kirsty Coventry, who has been expected to flex her muscle and rein in the SRC, has not done much to inspire hope of resolving this issue before the qualifiers start.

Mlotshwa told NewsDay Sport that the suspension of the board members would not be lifted and wants the restructuring committee to complete its mandate.

The restructuring committee has been given until the end of the year to come up with a new constitution and make consultations with stakeholders ahead of fresh Zifa elections.

“For Afcon [Africa Cup of Nations] 2023, much will depend on the progress made by the restructuring committee and any adoption of their recommendations by Zifa Congress,” Mlotshwa said.

Afcon qualifiers start on May 30, where the Warriors were grouped with Morocco, South Africa and Liberia.

Zifa needs to get its suspension lifted at least two weeks before the qualifiers begin.

Meanwhile, the Afcon qualifying fixtures were released yesterday and the Warriors are billed to kick off with a home tie against Liberia and end with another home fixture against Bafana Bafana, which would be quite a blockbuster if the two would still be in with a chance of qualifying.

Only two teams from each group qualify to the finals.

The Warriors have made it to the last three editions, while Bafana missed the last tournament which was played in Cameroon this year.

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