Implications of Fifa ban on Zim

HARARE - What an interesting week it has been for Zimbabwean football.

In a dramatic turn of events, the country’s deputy minister of Sports, Tabeth Kanengoni-Malinga, revealed in Parliament on Wednesday that Government was on the verge of sacking Cuthbert Dube and his entire Zifa board for gross incompetence.

Zifa president Dube and the association’s chief executive Jonathan Mashingaidze are in particular held accountable by many for the current undesirable state of affairs in the game — a view that we share and have often aired on these pages.

Indeed, Dube’s dismissal will mark a radical change in Zimbabwean football — but are we ready as a footballing nation to deal with the far-reaching consequences of that action?

World football governing body Fifa outlaws external interference in the affairs of its affiliate members, and the threats by Government to dissolve the Zifa board effectively violate Fifa statutes and attract a ban from all forms of football activity at international level.

Fifa’s axe is dangling over Zimbabwe’s head, and that will have a lot of implications on the development of the game in this country.

To avoid that, stakeholders of the game here need to find a loophole around the ouster of Dube because failure to do so would create a precedent that will prove costly.

At one level it seems quite simple. Fire Dube and clean up the mess at Zifa.

But on another level it’s complicated. Government dissolve Zifa, and we become a pariah of world football. 

Here’s the situation.

Suspension by Fifa means no Zimbabwean team  can compete in any international competitions — including club level or friendly matches. No team from Zimbabwe can have any international contact, according to article 14 par. 3 of the Fifa statutes.

The most immediate effect is that Zimbabwe will not be entitled to participate in the upcoming 2016 Olympics and African Youth Championships qualifiers.

In addition, neither Zifa nor any of its members or officials may benefit from any Fifa or Confederation of African Football (Caf) development programmes, courses or training during the suspension period.

A huge financial commitment and ingenuity is therefore required during the period of suspension to compensate for the loss of benefits that comes with being a member of Fifa.

We are not certain if all that has been taken into consideration.

Comments (2)

If this government in so interested in the welfare of the game & have all the evidence of gross incompetence why don't they engage with FIFA to come & do their own investigation? But then again we have that other 'dubious character' heading FIFA!

saundy - 1 February 2015

FIFA doesnt want govt interference in any way. The people who voted Cashbert are crying foul. I think the best is to pursue their crimes and move with speed, so that vanomboenda ku remand prison for some time. meanwhile we look for another president. Vana jonathan Im sure vane dzavo dzavakabata dzinenge dzichi zivikanwa. Remember R Khan.

jore - 2 February 2015

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