Zimbabwe should take seriously the warning from Fifa that it will throw the country out of international football on January 3, 2022, should the Sport and Recreation Commission fail to reverse its decision to suspend Felton Kamambo and his Zifa board.
The ultimatum, from the international football authorities, is no threat at all as history and events in other countries prove that Fifa do not backtrack on their warnings.
The SRC — even in their arrogance— should understand that Zifa is FIFA’s baby and Fifa will do everything to protect what is rightly theirs.
Zifa’s day-to-day life entirely depends on Fifa’s financial support and Fifa themselves have made it clear that they will not entertain third party interference in their investment.
In short, Zifa, just like any other football body, be it in England, Colombia, Indonesia, and Burkina Faso, is a branch, or a department of Fifa, and is bound by the rules and regulations of the international body.
On that premise, it would be advisable to reinstate Kamambo for the remaining year of his term and save our game from international isolation.
We are not in any way saying Kamambo and friends are clean, neither are we saying the SRC is right or wrong, but for the sake of the game at the moment, it would be good to follow Fifa’s orders.
Unfortunately, those too blinded look at Fifa’s threat as a ban only from Afcon 2021 but in reality the consequences are much bigger than this 24-team competition.
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Even so, how could men and women of integrity and intellect like those in the SRC be so cruel to deny the Warriors the chance of appearing at the finals they worked so hard for?
Right now, the players and the coaches are not sure whether they are going to Afcon or not. The nation’s excitement in the competition has also been thrown into suspense.
What the ban will mean is that Zimbabwe footballers will not be allowed to move to clubs in foreign lands because Fifa won’t be there to issue out international clearances.
This means that when the country comes out of the ban after two years or so, Zimbabwe would have a team seriously lacking in international experience.
It also means that Zimbabwean football teams will not be able to participate in the Caf Champions League and the Caf Confederation while all junior teams would be out of the Cosafa Cup, Africa Championships and other international competitions.
Worse still is the fact that there won’t be any courses for Zimbabwean coaches and referees during that period of the ban.
This also means that by the time we come out of the ban, Zimbabwe would be full of coaches with qualifications obtained at primary and secondary school soccer level.
The question is: Why should the SRC be willing to sacrifice all the privileges gained over the last 41 years and what Zimbabwe stood to get over the next few years?