Zifa in Gumbo U-turn

HARARE - Zifa yesterday confirmed the disbandment of the entire Zimbabwe national team but reprieved coach Rahman Gumbo, at least for now, in a shock about-turn by the local football ruling body.

The Zimbabwean football fraternity was awash with news that Gumbo and his technical bench had been sacked together with the whole national side in a massive clean-up exercise following the African Nations Cup qualification failure, but Zifa vice-president Ndumiso Gumede dismissed media reports during a press conference yesterday.

Gumede, who faced reporters at the conference alongside Zifa president Cuthbert Dube, said the coaches’ fate would only be decided following the submission of a report from the Warriors technical bench.

“The technical people have been asked to produce the report of the entire campaign,” Gumede said.

“Until such a time we have those reports, a decision has not been made.”

While Gumbo is believed to be on his way out, sources say Zifa’ reluctance to officially announce his ouster was a deliberate move to guarantee a “soft-landing” for Gumbo, who only in July was sacked by Castle Premiership side FC Platinum.

Meanwhile, Zifa has confirmed the setting up of an independent Appeals Committee that will review the cases of individuals found guilty of complicity in the Asiagate scandal.

Fifteen people have so far received life bans  while four others have been handed 10 year bans by the football authorities for their part in the biggest ever scandal to hit Zimbabwean football.

“The Zimbabwe Football Association would like to confirm that this machinery for appeals has since been be activated,” said Zifa boss Dube.

“…the individuals wishing to appeal against the decisions imposed are free to contact the Zifa secretariat as from Monday, November 5 of 2012. All appeals shall be dealt with by the Zifa Appeals Committee, in terms of the Zifa Constitution Article 53.3.”

Zifa would have to appoint an independent three-man committee, Dube said, because some members of its current appeals committee were “interested parties.” It showed how far match-fixing had seeped into Zimbabwean football and ravaged the setup.

 Dube said those that were banned were able to appeal from Monday.

 Among those given life bans this month were former Zifa chief executive Henrietta Rushwaya, former national team coach Sunday Chidzambwa and former captain Method Mwanjali.

Zifa also warned to unleash its “security organs” to prevent those sanctioned from attending local football activities.

“We have advised all our affiliate leagues, event committees and security organs to be on the lookout for banned individuals who may sneak into football events and functions.

“All individuals banned by Zifa are “persona non grata” at all Association football events, and organisations found hosting such miscreants shall be held accountable in terms of the football statutes and shall attract the full wrath of the association’s statutes.” - Sports Writer

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