THE chairman of the ZIFA Constitutional Review Committee, Itayi Ndudzo, says CAPS United’s views that Twine Phiri is entitled to sit on the Premier Soccer League Board of Governors, without violating the top-flight league’s constitution, are fundamentally flawed and should be dismissed.
Ndudzo, a Harare lawyer who is now the leading legal brains at the association following his appointment to lead the Constitutional Review Committee, was responding to a letter from CAPS United that backed Phiri as their representative on the PSL Board of Governors.
ZIFA claim that the Harare businessman’s mandate as the PSL chairman was revoked when he lost his position on the ZIFA board along with the rest of the other board members last year, and the association have ordered fresh elections for the league’s leader.
ZIFA also claim that Phiri cannot sit on the PSL Board of Governors, even if his mandate had not been revoked, because he is no longer the chairman or president of his club CAPS United.
The PSL constitution says only the chairman or president of the club can sit on the top-flight league’s Board of Governors.
Phiri was the CAPS United president when he was voted as the PSL chairman in 2010, a position he retained in 2014, but changes at the Green Machine, where Farai Jere is now the president and Lewis Uriri the chairman, appear to have created a problem for the Harare businessman.
Phiri is now the CAPS United vice-president although the club said on Monday that he also chairs an executive committee at the Green Machine, which reports to the board, and that means he is entitled to retain his seat on the league’s Board of Governors without violating the constitution.
Uriri backed Phiri in a letter that was sent to PSL chief executive Kenny Ndebele on Monday.
However, ZIFA insist that CAPS United’s views were flawed and this could mean that Phiri hasn’t only lost his position as the PSL leader, with Highlanders’ boss Peter Dube taking over in a temporary role, but will be ineligible to stand as a candidate when elections are held on March 5.
Yesterday, ZIFA chief executive Jonathan Mashingaidze set the election season underway when he advised the game’s leaders that nominations for the positions of PSL chairman, Women Football chairman, Beach Soccer chairman and ZIFA Eastern and Central Region leaders opened on Monday.
The nominations will close on February 1. Those who want to battle for the PSL chairmanship will have to pay $2 000 while the regional leaders will pay $1 000, women football leaders $500 and board members $500.
Phiri, though, might find himself being barred from contesting in the elections because of the positions that he holds at CAPS United.
“Reference is made to a letter dated the 18th of January 2016 by the chairman of CAPS United Football Club, Mr Lewis Uriri. The letter is very clear that it emanates from the ‘The Chairman’s desk,’ and is further expressly signed by Mr Uriri in his capacity as ‘CAPS United Football Club,’” Ndudzo wrote.
“Mr Uriri represents and confirms himself as the exclusive chairman of CAPS United Football Club. It is critical to state that the exclusive member of ZIFA and the PSL is CAPS United Football Club, the entity chaired by Mr Uriri.
“Any other internal body, committee, branch, element or structure within the football club itself is of no relevance, concern and consequence to ZIFA and its affiliate the PSL.
“Therefore, that Mr Uriri mentions the existence of a ‘presidium’ and ‘executive committee’ within his football club cannot circumvent the self-evident fact that he is the exclusive chairman of the football club which is the only recognised and registered member of ZIFA.
“CAPS Football Club, like any other football club, can have all sort of internal committees and style them whichever way it desires.
“However, it must be noted that the Football Statutes only speak of the chairman of the football club itself as eligible for serving as a governor. There is no room whatsoever for the chairman of a workers committee, supporters committee, players committee, ‘executive committee’ or any other committee of the club, however styled and constituted to gatecrash representation of the football club.
“As a matter of incontrovertible fact, the same Lewis Uriri, in his capacity as chairman of CAPS United Football Club, participated in the elective congress of 5 December 2015. The validity and credibility of his vote entirely hinged on his exclusive qualification and representation as the sole chairman of the member of ZIFA.
“It will certainly be scandalous for the same Mr Uriri to now summersault and present Mr Phiri as the club’s representative to the PSL. He cannot be allowed to approbate and reprobate without inviting sanctions for his club if not for himself.
“Suffice to mention is that Mr Uriri cannot be allowed to author confusion by shifting goalposts for the convenience of Mr Phiri in the face of unambiguous and unequivocal provisions of football statutes.”