Kamambo holds Zifa keys: Caf

Felton Kamambo

THE Confederation of African Football (Caf) has insisted that Felton Kamambo (pictured) holds the key to Zimbabwe’s reinstatement back into the football family.

The new Zifa board led by Gift Banda has been on a reinstatement drive following the suspension of Zifa by Fifa but their efforts have hit a snag with Caf adamant that Kamambo and crew should be brought back.

This development all but dents hopes by the Banda-led committee to restructure the ailing association.

Banda along with Farai Jere, Barbara Chikosi, Sugar Chagonda and Martin Kweza constitute the doomed executive committee that was established at an extraordinary meeting held in April.

However, Caf has poured cold water on their efforts, saying the ban remains until Kamambo and his executive are reinstated.

In a scathing statement, the continental football motherbody said:

“We acknowledge receipt of your letter dated June 14, 2022. We refer to the Fifa council decision dated February 24 2022 suspending Zifa on the basis of Article 14 paragraphs 1 and 3 of the Fifa Statutes as well as Article 16 paragraph 1, of the Fifa statutes as ratified by the Fifa Congress meeting of March 31, 2022 in Doha, Qatar,” the Caf letter to Zifa read.

Caf reiterated that the reinstalling of Kamambo and his executive was the only way for Zimbabwe to be readmitted into competitions.

“The above decision is clear and unequivocal that the suspension will only be lifted if: The Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) repeals the decision of November 26, 2020 suspending the Zifa general secretary

“SRC repeals the SRC decision of November 16, 2021 suspending the Zifa board. SRC repeals the SRC decision of December 17, 2021 setting up the restructuring committee.”

The Patrice Mostepe-led Caf also added that the SRC must withdraw its court case against Kamambo and his management.

“Fifa receives confirmation from Zifa and its management, led by president Felton Kamambo and general secretary Joseph Mamutse, that Zifa and its premises are once more under their full and unconditional control and SRC withdraws the court case against the Zifa president, three other Zifa board members and the general secretary for allegedly misusing Zifa’s letterheads.

“However, Caf’s attention has since been drawn to a number of developments, inter alia: An extraordinary general assembly meeting convened on April 23, 2022 during which a decision was apparently taken to revoke the mandate of three executive committee members including the president Mr Kamambo and two others Mr Malandule and Mr Machana.

“A letter dated May 24, 2022 from the SRC to Zifa lifting its suspension of Zifa’s secretary general, but subjecting the same to certain unspecified conditions.”

Caf is concerned about their funds which are now being administered by Banda-led executive.

“A letter dated June 8, 2022 from SRC lifting the suspensions of three Executive Committee members, Mrs Barbara Chikosi and Messrs Farai Jere and Sugar Chagonda whilst confirming that BDO Chartered Accountants have commenced their forensic audit into the financial and operational affairs of Zifa and that with the assistance of the SRC, a committee claiming to be the bona fide Zifa executive committee has made themselves signatories to Zifa’s bank accounts and is subsequently transacting the proceeds deposited by Caf and Fifa.”

In the statement, Caf cautioned the SRC for continually contravening football statutes, saying football associations reserved the right to operate independently.

“We would like to inform you as follows. The SRC’s letters dated May 24 and June 8, 2022 contravene Article 7 paragraph 1(a) and (g) of the Caf Statutes which, respectively, states as follows.

“Members of Caf shall have the following obligations: a)To respect, and ensure that their own members respect, at all times unreservedly the principles of ethics and fair play enacted by Caf and Fifa, the principles of integrity and sportsmanship as well as the Statutes, regulations, decisions and directives of Caf and Fifa (g) To manage their affairs independently and free of intrusions and interferences of any kind by any person or body”.

“None of the conditions stated in the Fifa council decision dated February 24, 2022 as ratified by the Fifa congress on March 31, 2022 has been fully and unconditionally met.

“Pursuant to Article 16 paragraph 3 of the Fifa Statutes, “A suspended member association may not exercise any of its membership rights,” such rights being defined in Article 13 of the Fifa statutes. Consequently, Caf hereby directs Zifa to immediately cease using and accessing any funds deposited by Fifa or Caf in the Zifa accounts.

“Please note that a breach of this directive will be regarded as a violation of the Fifa Council decision dated February 24, 2022 as ratified by the Fifa congress on March 31, 2022 and may subject Zifa or the officials involved to disciplinary sanctions. Caf will continue to monitor the developments in Zimbabwean football.”

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