Parly piles pressure on Zifa

HARARE - Parliament has recommended the disbanding of the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) leadership and placing the association under judicial management.

The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Education, Sport, Arts and Culture yesterday sat to discuss the problems bedevilling local football.

Zifa is currently battling with a ballooning debt which has risen above $5 million in the last few years.

The Warriors were also expelled from the 2018 Russia World Cup qualifiers by Fifa for failing to pay former coach Valinhos his outstanding salary.

Fifa gave Zimbabwe a sufficient grace period to settle the debt but Zifa president Cuthbert Dube and his board ignored the calls.

The Russia 2018 World Cup draw will be conducted in Saint Petersburg on July 25 and as things stand Zimbabwe will not be in the hat.  

In recent months, the association has also had to rely on handouts from individuals to fulfil national team assignments.

Zifa also defied a directive from the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) not to suspend any more board members and councillors.

The association went ahead and expelled vice-president Omega Sibanda, treasurer Bernard Gwarada and Women’s football boss Miriam Sibanda together with 12 councillors.

After pressure from the SRC and Fifa, they reversed the decision to suspend the 12 councillors but Omega Sibanda, Miriam Sibanda and Gwarada remain barred from football activities.

“With immediate effect the Sports and recreation Commission through the ministry of Sport, Arts and Culture, be mandated to fund raise for football. The most pressing and immediate requirement being to clear the Valinhos debt.

“The Zifa leadership has lost its legitimacy and no longer has any moral ground to stay even one more day in office.

“Stakeholders seriously consider the appointment of a Judicial Manager to protect Zifa assets, from a probable run in by creditors. This will clearly not be government interference,” the committee chairperson Tapiwa Matangaidze said.

Meanwhile, Zifa will only be holding their belated Annual General Meeting in Harare on July 25, the same day Fifa will be conducting the Russia 2018 World Cup draw.

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