Robson Sharuko Senior Sports Editor
THE Sport and Recreation Commission (SRC) have requested FIFA to use its powers, as enshrined it its statutes, to remove the entire ZIFA leadership from office and replace it with a normalisation committee that will be tasked to run domestic football for a specified period.
Gerald Mlotshwa, the SRC chairman, announced in a Press statement yesterday that although they had the authority to remove part, or the entire ZIFA leadership from office, they were asking the world football governing body to provide the intervention.
‘‘The SRC has, of today, this 15th August 2019, written to the Secretary-General of FIFA requesting that FIFA invoke Article (8) (2) of the General Provisions of the FIFA Statutes to remove from office the entire Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) Board and to replace it with a normalisation committee,’’ Mlotshwa’s statement read.
‘‘The SRC has reserved its right, in terms of the same correspondence, to act in terms of Section 30 of the SRC Act and suspend the entire board itself.’’
Article (8) (2) of the General Provisions of the FIFA Statutes empower the world football governing body to act and remove national football controlling bodies and replace them with normalisation committees.
‘‘Executive bodies of member associations may, under exceptional circumstances, be removed from office by the (FIFA) Council in consultation with the relevant confederation and replaced by a normalisation committee for a specific period of time.’’
In terms of Section 30 (c) (i), the SRC, having afforded a member like ZIFA the opportunity of making written representations to it, may ‘‘SUSPEND all or any of ZIFA’s officers, and in terms of Section 30 (2), recommend to the Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation, the appointment of an interim committee to administer the affairs of ZIFA.’’
A message purported to have been sent by ZIFA boss Felton Kamambo to councillors last night read:
‘‘You probably have by now all (seen) an SRC press release concerning ZIFA. Kindly note we are seized with this matter and a full response is coming soon.
‘‘Meanwhile, we urge you to remain calm and continue to work for the game. Football is in good hands and it shall be well.’’
According to sources, the SRC Board believe that according to Section 30 (1) (c) of the Sports and Recreation Act, ZIFA conducted itself in a manner which was against the national interest of sport.
This is related to FIFA funds, which have been pumped into ZIFA for the development of the game, the controversies related to the Warriors’ at the last AFCON finals and the negativity that continues to stalk the Mighty Warriors.
The SRC, according to the sources, believe they have not been given the responses they required from ZIFA to explain how funds from FIFA could have ended changing bank accounts and if such a conduct did not consist, on face value, gross incompetence in the discharge of duties for such a national association.
The drama which surrounded the Warriors’ camp during their ill-fated AFCON finals campaign in Egypt was also highlighted by the SRC as a symptom of the challenges that were rocking the administration of domestic football and the explosion of the issues in Cairo was just a culmination of events.
The SRC wrote to ZIFA on July 3 this year requesting that it be provided with comprehensive answers to a number of allegations that had emerged and the association, in response, asked for an extension of the deadline and then didn’t supply the required information.
‘‘It is against this background that the SRC have requested FIFA to remove from office the entirety of the ZIFA board, including the secretary-general (Joseph Mamutse), and replace it with a normalisation committee,’’ the sources said.
‘‘While the SRC could have flexed their muscles, and disbanded the ZIFA board, they feel that it is important for them to work hand-in-glove with FIFA in addressing the issue.’’
FIFA have taken a similar route in the past, through the appointments of normalisation committees, and in February this year the world football governing body named a five-member normalisation committee to oversee the governance of the Namibia Football Association.
Their mandate was to run the affairs of football in Namibia until a new leadership was elected.
The committee replaced the executive headed by Frans Mbidi who, however, continued to hold his post as the vice-chairman of COSAFA.
“The situation in Namibian Football Association is very difficult. It is affecting football and FIFA cannot accept that football is not played properly in one of its member associations,” FIFA director of development for Africa and the Caribbean, Veron Mosengo-Omba, said when unveiling members of the normalisation committee.
“It is the discretion and power of FIFA to decide who can be given the mandate for this. They report only to FIFA.
“The normalisation committee is tasked to run the NFA’s daily affairs but they will not have a seat in the federation.
‘‘They will oversee the NFA; to ensure that members of the NFA whose executive committees are out of mandate, organise and conduct relevant elections; and once elections have been held at member level, to organise and conduct elections of a new NFA executive committee.’’
In August last year, following a meeting between FIFA and the government of Ghana officials, the world football governing body resolved to appoint a normalisation committee for the Ghanaian Football Association.
The normalisation committee’s mandate was to:
Run the GFA’s daily affairs and cooperate with the special task force once it has been set up by FIFA, CAF and the government of Ghana;
Review the GFA statutes to ensure compliance with the requirements of FIFA and CAF, particularly art. 15 of the FIFA Statutes, and;
Once the GFA statutes meet the requirements of FIFA and CAF, to organise and conduct elections of a GFA executive committee on the basis of the revised GFA statutes.
Other normalisation committees have been appointed in the Dominican Republic, Uruguay, Mali, Pakistan and Madagascar in the past two years.