Petros Kausiyo Deputy Sports Editor
IT keeps getting better for ZIFA and their president Philip Chiyangwa with the flamboyant Harare businessman yesterday taking his first major stride in international football administration after being appointed to one of the Confederation of African Football’s sub-committees.
Chiyangwa was yesterday appointed to the CAF Under-20 Championships organising committee.
The appointment comes just two months after Chiyangwa swept to the helm of the ZIFA board with a landslide victory over his rivals in that poll — Trevor Carelse-Juul , Leslie Gwindi and James Takavada. Chiyangwa has, however, wasted no time in his first two months in office leading in the search for financial resources for the association with much of the thrust being put on the country’s flagships sides — the national men’s and women’s teams.0
Yesterday Chiyangwa received more football administration responsibilities with CAF appointing him to one of their sub-committees. ZIFA chief executive Jonathan Mashingaidze confirmed the development which he said he had been contained in an e-mail sent to him by CAF secretary-general Hicham El Amrani.
“Zimbabwe Football Association President Dr Phillip Chiyangwa has been appointed to serve as a member of the CAF Under-20 Organising Committee.
“He assumes this important role with immediate effect,’’ Mashingaidze said.
Mashingaidze also quoted the correspondence that he had received from CAF over his boss’ appointment.
“This is to confirm that President Chiyangwa is now within the U20 OC Committee of CAF. An official circular will be sent to all MA’s (Member Associations) to confirm the changes as soon as possible,” El Amrani wrote in his email to Mashingaidze.
Chiyangwa also expressed his gratitude to CAF for the recognition they bestowed on him.
“I am grateful to the Confederation of African Football for believing in me and my abilities, by appointing me to serve as a member in this important committee,” he told the Association’s official website.
“This is a great honour to Zimbabwean football. “I will repay their faith in me with splendid work and will make Zimbabwe proud by executing my duties in an impressive manner,” Chiyangwa said.
The vibrant manner in which Chiyangwa has gone about his business has charmed even some of his biggest critics who cast a shadow of doubt on his election into office on December 5.
Chiyangwa has also not made a secret of his ambitions to climb up the ladder of football administration and secure appointments to the various committees at world soccer governing body FIFA, CAF and the regional body COSAFA.
The appointment should also stand the ZIFA boss in good stead to assess Zimbabwe’s prospects of hosting such competitions like the CAF Under-17 and Under-20 tournaments and ultimately the African Cup of Nations. Zimbabwe’s bids to host the African Cup of Nations over the years have eluded the country since 2000 when CAF controversially and diabolically stripped the nation’s rights to stage the event and hastily took the 16-team competition to Ghana and Nigeria. Just this week, Chiyangwa sealed a $100 million deal that could help Zimbabwe showcase her capacity to hold major competitions with the ZIFA president and Asian firm Total Sports Marketing agreeing to stage the Afro-Asia tournament.