ZIFA present roadmap to SRC Gift Banda

Grace Chingoma

Senior Sports Reporter

ZIFA have taken giant steps towards fulfilling the requirements of the Sport and Recreation Commission with the football body presenting their roadmap to the country’s sport regulatory body.

It has emerged that the ZIFA executive committee, led by acting president Gift Banda, met with the Sports Commission’s board last Friday where the association’s boss presented the roadmap.

SRC board chairman, Gerald Mlotshwa, led his team in the deliberations.

A follow-up meeting to fine-tune the roadmap was held between the two parties at the secretariat level yesterday.

Yesterday’s meeting was also expected to pave the way for another indaba between the ZIFA executive committee and the Sports Commission’s board. ZIFA had a March 31 deadline by which they were expected to come up with a roadmap on reforms.

It is against this meeting that the meetings are being held.

However, both parties have kept a tight lid on the deliberations.

“ZIFA have come up with their roadmap and it is that document which was presented to the SRC for their perusal.

“They were happy with what they saw. However, there are also some clauses from the recommendations of the reform committee which the SRC would want to be considered so that all loopholes and weak areas that were being exploited at the expense of football are tightened,’’ sources close to the goings-on said.

The sources added that both ZIFA and the Sports Commission have demonstrated commitment to concluding the reform process and focus on engaging with FIFA to present what they have come up with.

There is also renewed hope that a united approach by the ZIFA stakeholders in implementing the roadmap, which will culminate in fresh elections under an amended constitution, will pave the way for Zimbabwe’s readmission into the FIFA family.

ZIFA are working on the football reforms and the direction the game should take in the light of the recommendations made by the ZIFA Restructuring Committee, which was set up by the Sports and Recreation Commission in December 2021 as part of the strategic roadmap towards addressing the issues that have affected football management and administration in Zimbabwe for many years.

The Restructuring Committee have since compiled a comprehensive report which is now in the public domain.

The committee noted that the “outdated’’ ZIFA Constitution needed major amendments, among the major reforms.

ZIFA have been using these gatherings to take time to analyse the different recommendations from the ZIFA Constitutional Review Committee and the ZIFA Executive Committee in order to come up with a working document.

The submission of the football reforms will be a huge step in getting the game kicking again and lead to the reinstatement of ZIFA’s membership at FIFA. Zimbabwe’s football is currently in the doldrums following the decision by the FIFA Council to pull the plug on ZIFA’s membership rights on February 24 last year in response to the chaos in the country’s football administration.

A fortnight ago, the FIFA Congress held in Rwanda voted to uphold the suspension of ZIFA.

The members in attendance voted overwhelmingly 199 in support of the embargo to remain. Only one member association was against Zimbabwe’s suspension.

FIFA said they are ready to lift ZIFA’s prolonged suspension from the international football family “as soon as the pertinent requirements have been fulfilled”.

Former ZIFA president Felton Kamambo and some members of the ousted executive members are still facing court charges over fraud and bribery. Some suspended executive members, including Barbra Chikosi, Farai Jere and Sugar Chagonda, were reinstated last year. But Kamambo and two other members, Bryton Malandule and Philemon Machana, who are still battling to clear their names at the Harare Magistrates Courts, have since been kicked out of office in a vote of no confidence passed by the ZIFA congress in April last year.

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