EDITORIAL COMMENT: CAF letter on ZIFA suspension was offside

30 Jul, 2022 - 00:07 0 Views
EDITORIAL COMMENT: CAF letter on ZIFA suspension was offside Felton Kamambo

The Herald

THE Confederation of African Football stirred emotions on the domestic football scene when they wrote a letter to ZIFA on issues to do with the association’s current suspension by FIFA.

The letter, which was quite detailed, was in response to communication which came from ZIFA. CAF were citing a letter written to them on July 14, whose contents are yet to be established.

But what is clear in their correspondence is that they were addressing the issue of Zimbabwe’s reinstatement to the FIFA family.

They stated the obvious, for instance the conditions set by FIFA for reinstatement which they printed word for word. CAF also acknowledged receipt of letters informing them of the changes that have taken place since the FIFA suspension of February 24.

Above all, the letter, which was signed by CAF’s general secretary Veron Mosengo-Omba, landed support to ousted ZIFA chairman Felton Kamambo and his lieutenants Philmon Machana and Bryton Malandule.  However, many questions have arisen in relation to that letter.

In as far as we all know, the ZIFA issues are being handled by FIFA. All the communications that were done by ZIFA and the Sports and Recreation Commission were sent directly to FIFA via the office of their secretary-general, Fatma Samoura.

Mosengo-Omba, as head of CAF secretariat, was copied the same, just as was done with all the key stakeholders.

It then boggles the mind why he would respond to letters that were addressed to his superiors at FIFA, yet FIFA has an office, led by the football iron lady Samoura, and has the capacity.

FIFA have never informed ZIFA that their issues were being handled by CAF. It is quite surprising why CAF is getting involved. Does Mosengo-Omba have an agenda? Was he asked to provide an opinion on the state of football in this country?

Was there a board resolution from the CAF executive committee to authorise the penning of such a letter? All along CAF have been following the FIFA directives, concerning ZIFA.

The irony of it all is that they even included the Warriors in their draws for the 2023 AFCON and CHAN qualifiers, while keeping tabs on the developments between ZIFA and FIFA.

Why would Mosengo-Omba even write to Joseph Mamutse, who has been AWOL for nearly two months? Mamutse was asked to return to office following the lifting of his suspension in May but up to now he has never bothered to report for duty, for reasons best known to himself.

Mamutse, as head of secretariat, is a key figure in the audit that is currently taking place at ZIFA, which could lift the lid on the massive embezzlement of funds at the association.

Mosengo-Omba should know better that Zimbabwe have made it clear they are taking a back seat this year in order to institute reforms in the rotten football structures back home.

While he appeared trigger happy to address issues of reinstatement, for Zimbabwe reinstatement is not an issue at the moment but restructuring is.

For that reason, the ZIFA Restructuring Committee that was set up in terms of the SRC Act is busy at work and have been given until December to come up with resolutions. 

For now, the SRC and ZIFA have only given FIFA updates on what is transpiring in Zimbabwe and have not requested the lifting of the suspension.

The local authorities have indicated that they will formally ask FIFA to lift ZIFA’s suspension when the domestic authorities are satisfied with the reforms being undertaken in football.

For now, the process has not yet been completed, hence Mosengo-Omba could be off-side on this issue.

In that vein the local authorities should press on with the restructuring process which is set to be completed before the end of the year.

CAF have no power to review the FIFA suspension of ZIFA, something which only the world football governing body can deal with.

In the meantime, the local football leadership should continue with the reform processes and ZIFA should emerge from this setback better organised and primed for more success.

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