Sort out women's football crisis

HARARE - Only seven days before the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) elections there is still rancour in the women’s game due to a leadership crisis.

As we report in sports section of this edition of our paper, there are two rival leadership factions, a situation which has paralysed the women’s game.

The uncertainty is a result of the protracted wrangling among Zimbabwe Women Football (ZWF) national executive members.

Since April this year, the five national executive members of ZWF have been split into two camps.

One group compromises chairperson Miriam Sibanda and two board members, Ben Mamoche and Edwin Magosvongwe.

The other group, which has the support of Zifa CEO Jonathan Mashingaidze has Elizabeth Langa as acting chairperson and Cecilia Gambe as her deputy.

Sibanda, who was cleared of charges of writing letters to Fifa and the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) inquiring about the funds which were supposed to be channelled to women’s football but had not reached her office — despite being eligible — remains sidelined.

It is a sad situation considering that the women’s game should be united, especially after the Mighty Warriors historic qualification for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

The entire nation was in euphoria when Rudo Neshamba scored the goal that took the Mighty Warriors to Rio at Rufaro Stadium in October.

With that success, women’s football should be heading to dizzy heights but that is not the case due to the leadership crisis.

As things stand, the ZWF crisis could derail the Zifa elections next weekend as there seems no end in sight to the problems.

A ZWF Extraordinary Assembly scheduled for today to have resolved the status of Sibanda and her colleagues was cancelled at the 11th hour.

The Sports ministry, Zifa, the SRC and Fifa should have ensured this current impasse was resolved a long time ago.

It seems all energies were focused on the election campaign by the various candidates but the plight of women’s football was relegated.

ZWF has four delegates that are supposed to vote next weekend while their chairperson has an automatic seat on the Zifa board.

At present, it is not clear who will represent ZWF at the Zifa elections and who will represent them on the board.

Is this not depriving the girl child her right to be also included in football?

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