Chipeta eyes the next step

HARARE - After serving the game in the Central Region for more than two decades, Eric Chipeta now wants to make the step up the ladder and sit on the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) board.

Chipeta will go up against five other candidates — Philemon Machana, Chamu Chiwanza, Barry Manandi, Sugar Chagonda and Brighton Malandule on December 1.

The Central Region boss, who succeeded the long-serving Brian Chishanga, has since rolled out his manifesto to members of the assembly in which he is appealing to the association’s councillors to vote for him to enable him transform the game.

Chipeta has vast experience in football having held different positions in the Central Region which includes chairperson and secretary-general among others.

He was also instrumental in the formation of the Central Soccer League in 2010.

“I am appealing to you fellow councillors to vote wisely and use your unquestionable vetting skills to all your candidates,” Chipeta said.

“No one should be allowed to land the post without them being individually interrogated on their suitability.

“We are all Zimbabweans and from the same nation and surely whoever is elected can bring results provided the right skills mix is evidently inherent within the Executive committee.

“At the end of the day, there should be no losers in this election and football must be the winner.

The Zifa Executive committee will need a strong, focused and multi-skilled assembly to drive its vision and resuscitate our football grass roots.

“I humbly put myself before you my fellow councillors. I also urge those who may be forming alliances to critically self-introspect and self-evaluate whether what they are advocating for is truly the panacea of our football in Zimbabwe.

“Our football’s future is more important than the December 1 election event. I will never disappoint you my fellow councillors.”

Chipeta said he had observed as the standards of local game deteriorated in the past years and is ready to save the game from further embarrassment.

“Before, my soccer environment was not complete due to work commitments but now I will be fully available and committed because I am now retired,” he said.

“To me football is a hobby such that I am not coming to football to gain financially but rather football to benefit from my experience. Having been in two different boards that is Southern Region and Central Region, I have learnt a lot.

“Pain of seeing a continuous and unabated downward spiralling of the sport and the inherent drive to help our football change. I also appreciate my own relevant sports administration experience which can be used to help our football.

“I have also realised that the image of our football, nationally, can only improve with mature, reputable, credible, loyal and experienced men and women managing it, myself included.”

The respected Central Region boss has since identified areas which he feels need attention.

“I will assist in sourcing sponsorship for our national teams from junior to senior level. I have worked in the corporate world as a senior manager so I will use my experience to network and convince some of the corporates to help in the development of our beautiful game through sponsorships,” he said.

“Our juniors are the backbone of our future national teams. It is of paramount importance that we revive our junior leagues in all provinces. In doing, this we need to partner schools in all our provinces.

“We also need a well-resourced secretariat. We need to identify training needs and organise refresher courses.

“Our referees and coaches in all our regions need to be trained so are our administrators. This will enable us to improve the quality in all spheres.

“Clubs are overburdened with expenses. The cost of running a club is too steep especially in this harsh economy and to this end I will work hard to get sponsorship for referees as a way of reducing costs from the clubs.

“I am an advocate of good corporate governance. I will make sure as an association we remain transparent and as open as possible.

“All efforts shall be made to ensure adequate internal controls and procedures are in place and adhered to.

“Financial statements and audited accounts will be produced timeously for transparency, accountability and effective decision making.

“I have worked for corporates who are advocate of quality standards and I will push for our national association to attain ISO certification.

“I am an avowed constitutionalist and I will urge fellow board members to strictly adhere to constitutionalism.

“I will seek to convince fellow board members to use the positions to unify all past and present administrators including those who would have lost this election, past and present technical staff, past and present secretariat members, players, supporters, unions and ordinary fans, the media included.

With women’s football treated like an afterthought, Chipeta hopes to see a change in that mentality if he wins a seat on the Zifa board.

“I will push for adequate resourcing and funding of our women football in Zimbabwe,” he said.

“I know the women do not have offices in all the regions hence my desire to share with them the limited resources that we have. I will work hard in assisting them with the much-needed administration training.

“I will strive to promote the development of football through proper implementation of Fifa Financial Assistance targeting our needs that include football infrastructure and equipment, youth and women’s football and technical development.”

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