Robson Sharuko in CAIRO, Egypt
ZIFA president Felton Kamambo’s rise in the corridors of power, on the domestic and continental front, could move another gear up if he lands one of the CAF executive committee posts here next month.
A rank outsider in the ZIFA leadership in December last year, where he powered to a shock victory over incumbent Philip Chiyangwa, Kamambo could take another step on the continental football administrative ladder.
He was yesterday unveiled as one of the candidates who will battle for the membership of the powerful CAF executive committee posts.
The elections will be held here next month.
Kamambo will have to beat the challenge of Elvis Chetty of the Seychelles, Andrew Kamanga of Zambia, Adam “Bomber” Mthetwa of Swaziland and Mohamed Sobha of Mauritius. Only one of them will earn the right to be part of the CAF executive committee, occupying the seat reserved for the COSAFA membership.
Zambian legend Kalusha Bwalya was the occupant of that seat but will not contest the polls set for July 18 here.
For Kamambo, just being part of the five-man crew, should be considered a huge achievement given that, about six months ago, he was a virtual unknown in the corridors of African football.
Back then, he was wandering in the wilderness of domestic football, having quit his post as a ZIFA board member in March last year, and trying to have his ban from the game overturned.
But, in a remarkable rise to power, he won the ZIFA presidency and could even go the extra mile and become one of the executive committee members of CAF.
“It’s a huge honour to be part of these people who have been short-listed for this very powerful and important position in the administration of our game,” he said.
“Obviously, what this says is that there are a lot of people who are watching what am doing back home and have been impressed by the work I have done in the short space of time l have been the leader of ZIFA.
“It’s my passion to be a football administrator and we will see how it goes and I hope things will go according to plan.” Kamambo is the virtual newcomer among the five but the continental football landscape has been changing since Ahmad brewed a shocker and dethroned Issa Hayatou from his seat as CAF president.
Malawian football boss Walter Nyamilandu was also a surprise runaway winner, in the battle for the FIFA seat, over Danny Jordaan of South Africa.
Interestingly, Kamambo’s nomination for the CAF executive committee post comes at a time when his leadership of ZIFA is being questioned in some quarters back home.
The Sports Commission have revealed they will investigate the way ZIFA organised the country’s participation at this year’s AFCON finals show.
This followed a stand-off between the Warriors and the association last Friday which led the team to cancel a training session and threaten to boycott their opening match against Egypt. ZIFA eventually fulfilled their pledge to ensure the US$9 000, demanded by each player before the game, would reflect in the players accounts on the morning of the match.
The association argued they had long paid that money but some complications in the movement of the transfers of the money at the bank provoked the impasse.
It has also since emerged there was a misconception that the money which the fund-raising committee had raised, towards the AFCON campaign, had been handed to the association which had allegedly abused it rather than pay the players.