I'm my own man - Takavada

HARARE - James Takavada says he is the best man to lead the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) by virtue of having gone through the ropes as a player, coach and administrator in his illustrious career.

The former Ziscosteel stalwart, who was crowned Soccer Star in 1984, is one of the three candidates cleared by the Zifa Electoral Committee to stand for the vacant post of president next month.

He will have to battle against Philip Chiyangwa, Leslie Gwindi while Trevor Carelse-Juul is still waiting for his nomination to be cleared.

“Football has given me so much in my life and I now want to give something back to the game,” Takavada told the Daily News.

“Throughout my career, I have worked at all levels of the game. This has given me an insight and understanding that I feel can enhance the future of football.

“I grew up in a mining environment playing on the streets and my life changed forever through the power of football.

“Because of my upbringing and the time during and after my playing career, I cherish the fact that I am my own man. I don’t owe anything to anybody. Therefore, I can serve as Zifa president exclusively in the interest of football and its future.”

Takavada began his career at Selukwe Chrome Stars in the 70s before going on to turn out for Gweru United, Ziscosteel, Tornadoes and Darryn Tornadoes.

He was part of the Young Warriors and Warriors setup between 1980 and 1986 before taking up coaching badges after hanging up his boots.

His coaching career started with Lancashire Steel in 1997 before stints with Ziscosteel, Shabanie Mine, Chrome Stars and Jwuaneng Comets FC in the Botswana Premier League.

Between 1999 and 2000, Takavada was assistant Warriors coach to Dutchman Clemens Westerhof.

At the moment, he is the director of football at Central Region Division One side Munyati FC.

With all this vast experience, Takavada feels it is now the right time he runs for Zifa presidency in order to restore integrity to the game.

“It is time to shift the focus away from Zifa and back to football. A series of controversies in recent years have undermined Zifa’s credibility and faith in the organisation among players, fans, sponsors, public officials and others who love football,” he said.

“There is a critical need to re-build that public confidence and show fans that we have football’s best interests at heart.

“This means a fresh start for Zifa that involves reform in an evolutionary manner and learning lessons to ensure the poor practices of the past are not repeated.”

Following the dark days football went through under former president Cuthbert Dube’s leadership, there has been an outcry for former players to get involved with running the game.

Takavada is hoping to seize this opportunity and promises an inclusive leadership that will be driven by allowing councillors a say in the decision-making process at 53 Livingston Avenue.

“The selection of the next Zifa President is now in the hands of the councillors. They are the driving force behind Zifa and the true leaders of football,’ he said.

“I met many councillors to hear their views on the game and the future of Zifa. We need to be a team if we are going to create a Zifa worthy of football.

“I also heard from players, fans, sponsors and others who love football because they also deserve a say in how Zifa operates.

“The game belongs to them as well. I want to turn the pyramid upside down, so that the councillors, the players, the coaches, the officials, referees the fans, and the sponsors are on the top, and the ZIFA President is there to serve and protect them and the game.

“If I am elected, I will fully accept the responsibilities that come with the presidential office. I will not attempt to shift blame or dodge my responsibility for the actions of Zifa. As president, I will accept accountability at all times.”

Comments (3)

This kind of man need our support fully as fans and as Zifa Councillors. The catrrot and stick scenario i am seeing Chiyangwa dangling is totally unacceptable. The biggest question to Chiyangwa is : Which company have you led in Zimbabwe and had no scandals? ZIFA COUNCILLORS ACCEPT HIS MONEY AT YOUR OWN PERIL.

KingZaka|| - 12 November 2015

This is the candidate the councilors should vote for. Does ZIFA have an ethics committee like FIFA does? Surely with financial bribes and offering of stands Phidza should be disqualified to stand as ZIFA President. Phidza will destroy football just like he destroyed several companies. We need a professional footballer to run football in Zimbabwe. We do not want corrupt businessmen and politicians in football. For the sake of football we urge all councilors to vote for Takavada.

Ben Tembo - 12 November 2015

I think Takavada has expressed himself, if it was a fair interview he would be shortlisted and eventually tried. We will support you. Problem ya Dr Phil yekuti he has got all the qualities of a spoiled child pompousness, foolishness, talkative etc

mabvurubvanyanga - 13 November 2015

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