23 March 2014

Zimbabwe: Zifa Presidential Race Special - Candidates Take It to the Wire

FORMER Zifa chairman Trevor David Carelse Juul has described his seeking of another dance at the helm of Zimbabwean football as a calling from God.

He left football administration in acrimonious circumstances more than two decades ago.

Juul, who will be contesting against incumbent Cuthbert Dube, Harare City chairman Leslie Gwindi and current board member marketing Nigel Munyati, said he has been prophesied to win the election and "revive the Dream Team from a vision to a reality."

"I have been called upon by God to rebuild the beautiful game which I have loved since I was a kid. My middle name is David. I am the biblical 'David' who will deliver local football from the bondage that it is in. I am a very successful businessman who is after results. Even my profession as a developer demands that," said Juul, who is based in Nigeria.

"During my tenure as chairman we managed to secure the first television rights in Zimbabwean football in the match between Zimbabwe and South Africa in which we won 4-1. That was the launch of the Dream Team which later went on a 13 game unbeaten run. Now I want to turn that dream of going to the World Cup into a reality."

Juul said after watching Zimbabwe's performance at the Champions of African Nations in South Africa where they finished fourth, he decided to come back and fulfill the prophecy.

The former Bulawayo Wanderers player who also won everything as a Dynamos coach in 1983 said he is not worried about the US$6million debt that the association is in.

"I would rather focus my energies on strategies that will take us forward --strategies that will help us revive the icon that our country once aspired to be in football terms. I have already engaged the Minister of Finance [Patrick Chinamasa] on the need to create an enabling environment that will allow incentives for companies that sponsor football or sport in general," he said.

Juul also explained his unceremonious departure from football that saw him being banned by the Sports and Recreation Commission in 1993.

"I was faced with a situation where we had to either pay the Dream Team players after matches or remit levies to SRC and I chose the former. I was also accused of having bought suits from Zifa purses but that money had actually come from my pocket," he said.

He also seems to be offering the olive branch to players and officials banned after allegedly participating in the Asiagate scandal.

"History belongs to the past has been my philosophy. I will also stand by what Fifa said with regards to that," he said.

Fifa did not recognise Zifa-imposed bans on players demanding more evidence. Juul said his 10-point plan to revive the sport includes developing a well co-ordinated and integral youth development programme, rebuilding the Zifa brand, as well-stabilising Zifa's financial standing.

He also intends to assist clubs to develop new revenue streams, developing and strengthening women's football with the aim of qualifying for the World Cup.

Among his other wishes are taking care of the welfare of former players, developing a Hall of Fame in Harare and Bulawayo and creating a Sports Medical doctors fraternity to provide the required care for players.

Establishing a formal working relationship with the government, enabling environment for investment and sponsorship in football is also top on his list of priorities.

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