Govt to probe Warriors

HARARE - The Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) has set up an inquiry committee to probe the Warrior’s behaviour after they snubbed a send-off dinner ahead of the 2017 Africa Cup Nations (Afcon) finals.

Then acting-President Emmerson Mnangagwa was scheduled to be the guest of honour at the send-off dinner which failed to take place after the players boycotted the event due to their stand-off with the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) over camping allowances, winning bonuses and appearance fees.

The SRC, which is government’s arm in sports administration, says the episode was an embarrassment to Mnangagwa and the entire nation as it was widely covered by the international media.

The boycott came at a time when the government had availed $1 million to bankroll the team’s participation at the tournament.

SRC commissioner administrator Titus Zvomuya will chair the committee alongside his colleagues Joseph Mungwari and John Falkenberg.

“The team’s boycott of the send-off dinner also affected the general preparations and travel of the Warriors,” SRC acting-director general Joseph Muchechetere said.

“These challenges naturally tarnished the image of the country, Zifa and were a complete embarrassment to the sponsors.

“Their actions have far-reaching consequences not only to the football fraternity but also to the entire sport and recreation sector hence the decision to set up the committee of inquiry to address these challenges.”

The committee is expected to commence duty immediately and will gather evidence through face to face, electronic interviews or written submissions from the Warriors and other stakeholders.

“The findings of the committee together with its recommendations shall be communicated to the SRC board no later than February 28, 2017,” Muchechetere said.

“As part of its work, the committee will be at liberty to request for reports or information on any issue that they may deem necessary from Zifa for incorporation into the final report.

“By way of this convening order the committee is immediately mandated to work closely with Zifa in coming up with the findings and recommendations on the way forward.

“This action is being taken in terms the SRC Act Chapter 25:15 1991 section 12 as read with section 19 paragraphs (b) and (c) and section 20 paragraph c.

“It is the duty of the SRC to protect the interests of the public and stakeholders as regards sport and recreation in the country, hence this committee is expected to gather as much information as possible so as to proffer a well thought out advice on the matter.”

The impasse was finally ended when Zifa agreed to pay the players $5 000 per match in appearance fees, $6 000 in winning bonuses for the group stages.

Camping allowances were finally pegged at $400 per-day. 

Zimbabwe was eliminated from the ongoing tournament in Gabon after losses to Senegal and Tunisia while picking up a single point in a draw with Algeria. 

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