THE impasse between the Sports Commission, and the suspended ZIFA board, took a farcical turn on Tuesday when three principal bosses, of the dissolved leadership, flew to Cairo to attend a CAF indaba.
ZIFA lawyer, Cheinaimoyo Gumiro, defended his clients saying they only responded to an invitation from CAF and, if the SRC had any issues with their attendance, the regulator should take up the matter with the continent’s football governing body.
He also wondered if the SRC sanctions had any effect, on the status of his clients, outside the country’s borders.
However, a number of issues arise from their decision to travel to Cairo, for the meeting, set for tomorrow.
While Gumiro is right that the suspended ZIFA leaders were invited, to the indaba, he doesn’t address the key issue that the invitations came before the announcement, by the SRC, that the ZIFA board had been dissolved.
The lawyer, too, doesn’t address why the suspended ZIFA board, have been sending communication from an acting chief executive if, as he claims, chief executive Joseph Mamutse’s suspension, fell off, the moment they lodged an appeal against the decision?
He doesn’t address why Mamutse suddenly appeared, in an official capacity, for the trip to Cairo when, all along, at occasions where ZIFA needed to represented by their chief executive, someone was standing in his shoes, throughout the year?
If the SRC decision is only a localised one, as the lawyer appeared to claim yesterday, which was not being recognised by both FIFA and CAF, why did they write to the world football governing body, advising them of the sanctions, and asking for a review of the decision?
Why did the other suspended ZIFA board member, Bryton Malandule, advise FIFA he could not run the referees’ course, which was supposed to be conducted last week, because he had been suspended and, as the association’s point man, in terms of referees, the sanctions had compromised the running of the course?
Why then were 30 elite referees and 30 referees’ instructors, who were supposed to benefit from the course, denied this golden opportunity if everything was normal while the suspended members of the board could fly to Cairo on association business, as Felton Kamambo, Philemon Machana and Mamutse, have done?
Doesn’t this send the signal that the scenario, which the suspended ZIFA board members, are spinning as a crisis, which has to even freeze the development of referees, only emerges when it suits their interests, and is then dismissed as a no-show, where the leaders are set to reap some benefits?
How do the suspended ZIFA bosses justify their five-day trip to Cairo, complete with business class tickets, five-star hotels and daily allowances, when the referees, who will be there even after the leaders have left office, are denied a chance for a five-day development course, simply because the bosses feel football activities should be halted, in this country?
Given an investment into match officials, is a national issue, in terms of guaranteeing the future of the game, doesn’t this then suggest national interests are being compromised because everything, in Zimbabwean football now, has to safeguard the personal interests, of just a few suspended bosses?
How do the suspended ZIFA bosses justify their trip to Cairo when they ordered all the workers at their headquarters, at 523 Livingstone Avenue in Harare, to close shop and go home because the SRC had disrupted the running of the game, in this country, through their decision to suspend them?
It’s very likely the ZIFA workers, who were sent home last week, are unlikely to receive their salaries this month and will the suspended bosses justify that, and blame it to the chaos, brought about by the SRC sanctions, when they can spend five days living the good life, in Cairo, at the height of the crisis?
There are so many questions, which need answers, right now.
And, the decision by the suspended ZIFA leaders, to spend five days in Cairo, while their house is burning here, will probably paint a picture of them being a people who are only concerned about what personally affects them.