16 December 2012

Zimbabwe: New Rules for Zifa Polls

Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) is in the process of amending their constitution to accommodate a clause that bars candidates who are not part of the current structures from contesting for presidency.

This latest constitutional amendment effectively shuts the door for many football administrators outside the Zifa set-up who had hoped to run for the post in 2014. Zifa president Cuthbert Dube confirmed the developments, adding that this was not the only amendment to the constitution. "There are quite a number of amendments that are going to be made to the current constitution. I know very well that this particular amendment is going to raise a lot of debate," Dube said.

He said the developments were agreed on at the Confederation of African Football (CAF) extra-ordinary meeting held in Seychelles in September "I think it's becoming the trend the world over. CAF is also following in the footsteps of the world football governing body, Fifa, who were the first to enact statutes that allow the leadership to cascade among board members. This has since happened at CAF and all member football associations have been ordered to do likewise," Dube added.

"What is going to happen is that the presidency of a football association would be contested by people who are in the current football association board or assembly members. As for assembly members, they have to relinquish their assembly posts first, then run for the presidency, but if the member loses, he/she will not get back to his/her previous assembly post."

Dube went on to explain how this came into discussion.

"A number of member-countries said Africa football was declining because there was lack of continuity in football leadership, thereby all member-countries were asked to vote for the amendment. Forty-six countries voted for the amendment, two chickened out while two voted against the amendment.

"Fifa president Sepp Blatter, who graced the meeting, gave a go ahead to the amendment which he said was going to improve continuity in African football.

Dube said as a leader, he was aware of the dangers that might come with such type of leadership.

"I know this has its own disadvantages. If you are a bad leader, in most cases your lieutenants usually follow your style of leadership, so there is a danger of one association suffering from cascading bad leadership for a long time. But at times this can work wonders, if you leave office in the middle of important projects, you would be assured those left in office would finish them off," Dube added.

All member countries are now waiting for the adoption and confirmation of the minutes of that particular meeting at yet another meeting to be held in Morocco early next year.

The danger is that if it's a directive from the Africa mother body, as Zifa we cannot resist as we would risk being penalised, so we have to follow suit even though I know this is going to generate a lot of debate. I know people would say Dube is afraid of elections, not at all, these are rules and regulations of the game that we are only following."

In a related case, Jacques Anouma castigated CAF president Issa Hayatou for denying them a chance to contest the CAF presidency by putting in place a similar amendment in the CAF constitution.

Hayatou has been at the helm of CAF since 1987.

Meanwhile, Zifa president was last week officially incorporated in the Brazil 2014 World Cup organising 13-member committee.

"There is a lot of work to be done by this committee. We have to start preparing for the Confederation Cup which will be played from June 15 to 30, meaning there will be a lot of travelling, meetings, monitoring of stadia, hotels roads and other things.

"After the Confederation Cup, we would then take up the World Cup challenge, it has to be a success," concluded Dube.

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