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Felton Kamambo

BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
ZIFA councillors insist that the association’s emergency general meeting (EGM) scheduled for today will go ahead as planned despite the release of communication from Fifa on Thursday suggesting that its outcome will not result in the lifting of the country’s suspension from international football.

The local football mother body’s members are expected to convene a meeting this morning to discuss the way forward following the country’s recent suspension by Fifa.

The meeting is also expected to result in the councilors unanimously voting to revoke the mandate of the association’s suspended executive board led by Felton Kamambo (pictured).

There were doubts that the meeting would go ahead after the world football governing body said it will not recognise the meeting.

In a letter addressed to the suspended Zifa chief executive Joseph Mamutse and Kamambo, Fifa senior manager (member associations) Sarah Solemale said Zimbabwe’s suspension would only be lifted upon the reinstatement of the suspended executive committee members.

In the letter dated April 21, 2022 Solemale wrote: “As discussed in the past weeks, it is important that in the context of the aforementioned EGM, the Zifa members and delegates understand fully the decision of Fifa council taken on February 24, 2022. Especially, they shall be reminded of the cumulative conditions imposed by Fifa Council in order for the Zifa suspension to be lifted, including ‘confirmation to Fifa that Zifa and its management led by president Felton Kamambo and GS Mamutse is back under their full and unconditional control’.”

Zifa councillors pushing for today’s meeting yesterday emphasised that the meeting would go ahead as Fifa had not officially communicated its position on the meeting.

“The letter does not in any way opine that the scheduled EGM be cancelled; neither does it declare the EGM unlawful. It reiterates the conditions for reinstatement to Fifa, which are already in the public domain and largely a matter between Fifa and the government through Sport and Recreation Commission (SRC),” wrote the Zifa Northern Region chairperson Martin Kweza on behalf on behalf of Zifa members calling for the EGM.

“Apart from that, we will not speculate on reasons, why the said email would have been shared with the generality of all stakeholders, as this seems to be a private discussion between the parties. As such the EGM is proceeding as advised.”

Kweza said the meeting was in compliance of the local football mother body’s constitution, while also questioning the authenticity of the latest Fifa communication which was only communicated to the suspended Zifa officials.

“We have taken note of the email being circulated by the suspended Zifa CEO, Joseph Mamutse, purportedly emanating from Fifa. The contents therein are noted. Firstly, we note that the email constitutes a departure from the norm in that it is not on the official Fifa letterhead for authentication. We further note that it is addressed to Sirs and we take this to refer to Messrs Kamambo and Mamutse and no one else in particular, in pursuant to their previous discussions (with Fifa) notwithstanding bail conditions being faced by Mr Kamambo.”

He added: “The said EGM is convened in accordance with the Zifa constitution. The Zifa assembly remains the supreme authority in as far as Zifa issues are concerned. We shall engage with Fifa at the appropriate time so as to ensure that a common ground is attained between the parties.”

The councillors had initially wanted to hold the EGM in January, but were forced to shelve their plans after Fifa indicated that there was need to follow the constitutional process and give the due 90-day-notice.

Fifa then suggested to the councillors that they had to wait for April 3 before circulating notices of the meeting at which members of the suspended Kamambo Zifa board face revocation.

Kamambo and his Zifa board were suspended by the SRC in November last year over allegations of abuse of public funds, corruption and sexual harassment of female referees.

They deny the allegations.

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