FIFA must lift ban

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ALL things being equal, FIFA is expected to eventually lift the ban on Zimbabwe football following the cleansing of the beleaguered ZIFA board at the Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) over the weekend.

The councillors retained most of the executive except for Felton Kamambo and two other board members; Philemon Machana and Bryton Malandule.

If the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) can be persuaded to lift the suspension it imposed on the ZIFA Board late last year, then FIFA is likely to likewise lift our ban.

FIFA’s suspension of the country followed what they called ‘third party interference’, after the SRC had suspended the ZIFA Board.

However, there are fears that FIFA might not recognise the ZIFA councillors’ resolutions, unless Kamambo, in person, is retained.

But this doesn’t sound logical.

In the first place, the meeting was constitutional, as it is provided for in the ZIFA statutes.

In fact, FIFA tacitly gave the meeting its blessing by advising the councillors to give a 90-day notice before they held it.

The turnout at the meeting showed that the majority of the councillors endorsed it.

The booting out of Kamambo and his colleagues was supported by 43 of the 45 councillors who attended.

The meeting, technically, was in line with FIFA demands for all Board members were invited.

There were no fresh elections.

But the four ZIFA Board members who retained their seats after being exonerated of alleged wrong doings are enough to form a quorum and keep ZIFA business running.

This tactically means the Board suspended by the SRC was reinstated at the EGM.

The inclusion of Kamambo is neither here nor there.

It’s now up to the SRC to lift its suspension of the duly elected members, paving the way for FIFA to lift the suspension of Zimbabwe.

But once this happens, our joy will soon come to a screeching halt.

There are a number of hurdles still lying ahead.

So far, there is no stadium in Zimbabwe that is allowed to hold an international match by CAF.

We understand the grace period that was given to the National Sports Stadium (NSS) is over.

That means Zimbabwe won’t be able to host the eagerly awaited forthcoming 2023 AFCON qualifiers.

As it stands, we have to beg one of our neighbours to host our home games 

What a shame that would be!

We have been told of the shortcomings at the NSS several times but, it looks like the Kamambo Board was too lethargic to attend to it.  

It was heartening to hear that the Second Republic will be directing more cash to sport.

We hope some of this will be channelled towards improving our sporting facilities to keep abreast of world standards.

Another problem facing our soccer is the election process.

Every time, after an election, accusations of alleged bribery are a given.

There is something wrong there.

There must be some restructuring of the voting panel in such a way that chances of allegations of mass bribery are limited.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino heavily depends on Africa for votes.

He has been under severe criticism for ignoring ‘third party interference’ in football matters by European governments over Ukraine.

We are sure he won’t like to be seen to be taking draconian measures over Zimbabwe, an African country trying to revamp its football within the confines of FIFA statutes. 

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