Inside sport: Will Fifa strike the right chord?

FIFA have finally decided to visit Zimbabwe and see for themselves what is really happening

FIFA have finally decided to visit Zimbabwe and see for themselves what is really happening rather than listening to the blame game that was being played by different parties involved in the football saga.

The high-powered delegation was in Zimbabwe last week talking to all who matter most from Felton Kamambo and suspended members of his board to interim Zifa boss Gift Banda as well as the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC), the Premier Soccer League, the Footballers Union of Zimbabwe, and the Zimbabwe Women’s Soccer League.

It was a mission that gave everyone a chance to be heard so that when Fifa make its decision, it would be based on what they saw and what they heard.

The SRC claims the outcome of their discussions with Fifa and Caf were promising and the three parties agreed on the next steps towards addressing the Zimbabwean football problem, something that is interesting to hear.

The nation, however, is waiting with bated breath as to what the Fifa findings would be as the status quo was becoming increasingly confusing with accusations, denials, and counter-accusations, the order of the day.

The contentious money issues and the missing US$2 million dominated headlines and the nation needs or demands to know what exactly happened to their money — as it was taxpayers’ money.

Fifa cannot ignore these issues because they are some of the reasons why they came to Zimbabwe as the money issues led to the suspension of the Felton Kamambo Zifa board and ultimately to Zimbabwe’s ban from international football.

On that premise, the decision from the Fifa visit should bring a lasting solution to the crisis as Zimbabweans on their own have failed to solve their own problems since that day in February 2022 when the country was thrown out of international football.

What is ironic is that Zimbabwe is now willing to listen to Fifa yet they in 2022 refused to abide to a Fifa directive to reinstate Kamambo to avoid the international ban.

By today, April 23, 2023, Kamambo would have been history after serving the remaining six months of his term way back in December 2022 without affecting Zimbabwe’s standing in international football.

Surprisingly, Zimbabwe is now willing to accept and listen to what Fifa will say this time around when we have already wasted a year and also missed a lot on the international front including Afcon 2023.

We should have known or learnt long back that football power was in the hands of Fifa and not in ours and we are now begging them for assistance, something that we could have avoided.

We are told and have been made to understand that the Fifa and Caf delegations did not come on their own but at the invitation of the SRC

Maybe, we have seen that on our own, we are going nowhere as nothing seems to have come out of the more than a year we have been on suspension as far as moving forward with our football is concerned.

Even the recommendations of the Zifa Restructuring Committee have been thrown into the dustbin as they are facing resistance due to their strong impact on those who are supposed to implement them.

So, the visit by the Fifa delegation holds the key to Zimbabwe’s football future and we hope their decision would be the best for the Zimbabwean game.

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