FORMER ZIFA president Philip Chiyangwa says the life ban imposed on him by the new association’s leadership “is a joke,’’ which will be dismissed by those who make pronouncements that matter in this game, including FIFA and CAF.
He claims the current ZIFA leadership has been trying to run away from his shadow, but will have to live with the reality he now works at a higher level as the COSAFA president, than leading a national football organisation.
“This is a joke and it’ll remain a joke and people here want winners, they don’t want losers,’’ said Chiyangwa.
“COSAFA is the regional body and you cannot have people in ZIFA mooting sanctions against a superior authority, as has happened.
“What worries me, and what the real football power will take care of, are the unsubstantiated claims, where people can make things out of the blues, saying this guy was doing this and that.
“What I can assure you is that a comprehensive response is coming and when that happens, I am sure those who are making all these accusations and statements will still be in office to actually stand to answer and defend themselves.
“In football, you don’t just sit in a room and come up with lies and say this and that and issue a statement. We are in a different world of the game now, and you can even see that the game has now adopted the use of technology so that we can be sure a goal has been scored, or a foul has been committed to warrant a penalty.
“The message from that is that football is turning away from lies, from people who try to con the referees to win a penalty from balls that didn’t cross the line being given as goals, and that is huge statement from the game which is played in the real world where what matters is football, and not politics and personalities.
“Now, here we have some people who believe they can fool everyone with lies, who can say they can come on the scene and do all these sorts of funny actions, telling people they can ban someone like me, they can recall someone like me.’’
Chiyangwa said nothing was going to change for him.“Let’s wait and see how it comes out because I am not a small boy, and when I said I wanted to become COSAFA president they thought I was joking, but today that’s what I am, and last weekend we were in Port Elizabeth celebrating real football that is played on the pitch,’’ he said.
“We were celebrating with the Zimbabwean players, the Zambian players, the South African players, exceptional women footballers who represented their countries with distinction and you saw the big crowd during the final, that’s what FIFA wants to see. And, back home, some people were having meetings as usual, saying we are doing this, doing that, banning PC, banning Omega Sibanda, as if this is some street drama where you say ‘hey, I don’t want this guy and let’s replace him with this fellow.’’’