THE Pan African Development Foundation says the circus surrounding how Zimbabwe voted in the 2013 Ballon d'Or is an international public relations' disaster for Zifa and those behind it should pay a huge price.
The Non-Governmental Organisation, which has taken a keen interest in sport, said there was a danger this international scandal could be swept under the carpet.
PANAD have since written to world governing body, Fifa, seeking answers.
Allegations surfaced last week that names could have been forged, onto the official ballot papers, in a calculated shadowy scheme to dupe Fifa on the identity of the people who were voting on behalf of Zimbabwe.
Esrom Nyandoro, the Zimbabwe international midfielder whose 'name and signature' appears on the ballot papers as having voted as the captain of the Warriors, dismissed it as a fake exercise saying he never took part in the process. Zifa have instituted an investigation into the circus but PANAD feels the process should be driven by external investigators given that the issue appears to involve some senior officials in the organisation.
"We are concerned that an international scandal, which was manufactured right at the headquarters of our football governing body at 53 Livingstone Avenue, Harare, is seemingly being swept under the carpet by our football leaders," PANAD chairman, Ignatius Pamire, and secretary-general Lovemore Sithole, said in a statement.
"We find it so disturbing that our football leaders can abuse the trust that has been vested in them, climb down from their high moral ground and turn themselves into architects of sinister fraud and forgery in a case that has such universal appeal like the Fifa Ballon d'Or.
"How low, really, can we sink any further?
"When you have a Zifa secretariat that abuses its trust and tries to dupe its principal, Fifa, in the voting exercise of the World Player of the Year, you know that we have completely lost track as a football organisation tasked with managing the country's national sport. The big question that we are asking is that if the Zifa secretariat can try and dupe Fifa, with fictitious voters for the Ballon d'Or, what guarantees do we have that they can be trusted to handle all the other issues with the professionalism demanded by that office?
"If the Zifa secretariat can lie to its principals, Fifa, what else can they do, in terms of mischief, to players, coaches and clubs whom they are mandated to manage in this country?" PANAD said while the Ballon d'Or wasn't a bread and butter issue in Zimbabwe football, the manner that this exercise was handled was what mattered.
"It's not about the Ballon d'Or, and the international appeal that it brings, but about ethics, the cornerstone of all professional bodies, being flouted with reckless abandon, and with our national integrity being brought into question by such foolish acts, which we are concerned with," said PANAD.
"It's about trust and we feel that is a very rare commodity at Zifa right now.
"When the Zifa CEO publicly lies to the nation that he wasn't in office when the Ballon d'Or papers were processed and it's proven that he was, in fact, the authorising manager, as is the case in this scandal, we have every right to say that we are being managed, in terms of our football, by horrible characters who have no place in our national game."