BY MICHAEL KARIATI
THE dreaded has happened and Zimbabwe has been thrown out of international football for a period nobody knows except Fifa.
The blow did not hit the Zifa board or the Sport and Recreation Commission (SRC) but the players, coaches, referees, and Zimbabwe football lovers in general.
For now, Zimbabwe should forget about Afcon 2023, and FC Platinum should also forget about the Caf Confederation Cup after winning the Chibuku Super Cup.
Although Premier Soccer League (PSL) action remains, the Mighty Warriors and the Young Warriors too have been banned from participating in continental or international competition.
The Zimbabwean referees, who have failed to meet international football standards, will remain where they were as there won’t be any training from Caf and Fifa.
Zimbabwean players too will not be able to move to new clubs other than the ones that employ them right now while coaches will also not get any more international training and qualifications.
This could have been avoided had the Sports and Recreation Commission followed the suggested path of waiting for April 3 for the Zifa Assembly to decide on the future of the Felton Kamambo board.
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Football analyst Admire Muhimeke comments that the SRC erred and should have been aware of the consequences of their action.
“Fifa gave Zimbabwe enough time and advice on how to handle their situation. They gave the date of April 3 for the Zifa Council to sit and make a constitutional decision on the future of Zifa but the SRC chose a route that is contrary to Fifa statutes. Now see what has happened,” said Muhimeke.
Instead of the celebrations which were going on, now it is Kamambo and friends who are smiling all the way with all the four Aces in their hands.
What has happened gives Kamambo and friends an advantage and as earlier indicated they can claim an addition to their time in office for the period they were on suspension.
Right now, there is no time frame as to when Zimbabwe would be reinstated to their old international football status even if they agree to reinstate Kamambo,
There is also no guarantee that Fifa will not make further demands should the SRC abide by what they have already asked to be done.
However, there are some like Francis Zimunya, the chairman of the Zimbabwe Football Stakeholders Trust who think Zimbabwe should not beg Fifa to return to international football because they will dictate more terms.
“I think this is a blessing in disguise. We will lose nothing from this ban and the truth is that it gives us some breathing space to sort out our football. Fifa cannot impose on us, the leaders that our football has rejected,” quipped Zimunya.
The question now is whether Zimbabwe should accept the ban as it is or that the SRC should bow down to Fifa demands and reinstate Kamambo and company.
Fifa recognises Kamambo as the bona-fide president of Zifa and head of the house at 53 Livingstone Avenue and that cannot be disputed with the events that are unfolding.
The question, however, is how Kamambo will manage to run a house where the family is resistant to his authority.
There is also need to weigh the advantages of the ban and its disadvantages and see which one has more weight over the other and take the side of the heavier one,
What is clear is that the arrogance of both Zifa and the SRC has brought Zimbabwe this far. This issue could have been resolved long back and for that matter without the involvement of Fifa.
Now, it has come to a point where a meeting between Zifa and the SRC does not and will not help anything – in the meantime, PSL action continues with or without Fifa.
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