13 June 2018

Zimbabwe: Zifa Leaders Meet FIFA Officials

Harare — ZIFA will continue receiving developmental assistance from FIFA following assurances given to the Zimbabwean delegation by the world football body at the 68th FIFA Congress here in Russia. The Zimbabwean delegation, led by ZIFA vice president Omega Sibanda, yesterday held fruitful meetings with top FIFA officials on Monday and appraised them of the strides the Association had taken in the development of football in the country.

Other delegation include the ZIFA board member in charge of finance, Phil Machana, and the Association's chief executive Joseph Mamutse.

The trio met with FIFA Director for Africa and the Caribbean, Veron Mosengo-Omba, FIFA Senior Manager for Development programmes (Africa), Solomon Mudege, and the FIFA Manager (Member Associations), Luca Nicola.

The ZIFA delegation will also vote in the battle for the hosting of the 2026 FIFA World Cup here today.

This puts to shame some prophets of doom who have been peddling falsehoods on social media that members of the ZIFA Executive Committee would be barred from participating in the Congress because their mandate has lapsed.

Harare City official, Hope Chizuzu, has been claiming on various social media platforms that the mandate of the ZIFA leadership expired at the end of March and the Association currently does not have a bona-fide leadership.

However, FIFA have made it clear that the current ZIFA leaders will remain in office until elections are held as per the provisions of their Electoral Code.

Sibanda will today participate in the voting process to choose the 2026 FIFA World Cup hosts.

ZIFA have set the election roadmap underway which will culminate in elections being held for the executive committee in December.

FIFA hailed the ZIFA leadership for ensuring that Zimbabwe national teams participate in various levels of competitions and also congratulated the country following the Warriors' triumph in South Africa that saw them clinching a sixth COSAFA men's title.

FIFA president, Gianni Infantino, inquired through Veron Mosengo-Omba how ZIFA president Philip Chiyangwa, who did not make it for the Congress on the recommendations of his medical staff after recent eye surgery, was recovering and wished him well.

Chiyangwa also did not travel to South Africa for the COSAFA Cup because he was advised not to fly during the period of his rehabilitation.

"The Zimbabwean delegates to the 68th FIFA congress in Moscow on Monday held fruitful meetings with top FIFA officials," ZIFA said in a statement.

"Contrary to some social media speculation that Members of the ZIFA Executive Committee would be barred from participating in the historic congress, the ZIFA delegation will participate fully in all congress activities.

"In their meetings with FIFA officials, the following issues were noted: -

1. The Zimbabwe Delegation appraised FIFA officials of the strides the Association had taken in the development of football in the country.

2. FIFA applauded the Executive Committee for ensuring that Zimbabwe national teams participate in various levels of competitions.

"Zimbabwe was commended for clinching a sixth COSAFA men's title.

3. FIFA president Gianni Infantino inquired through Veron Mosengo-Omba on the condition of ZIFA President, Dr Philip Chiyangwa, and he wished him well.

Chizuzu yesterday claimed on his Facebook wall that ZIFA were on the verge of suspending a number of football administrators from the game, including Harare City chairman Alois Masepe.

"The Page has it on good authority that Sibanda (Omega) has a list of 12 others he needs to suspend soon, to disenfranchise them from possible election into ZIFA," claimed Chizuzu in the post.

"The dozen include some former councillors of ZIFA, whom he thinks exposed their failings or are reading and agreeing too much to stories often written on these pages.

"Trumped-up charges are ready in the oven and the likes of Piraishe Mabhena, Felton Kamambo, Alois Masepe chairman of Harare City FC, are among those targeted with the guillotine.

"Masepe has been deemed too supportive of Yours Truly and was, until recently, steadfastly supporting a man considered the enemy of the establishment by Omega."

Masepe last night dismissed Chizuzu as "an unrepentant man who wants to drag his name into the mud".

"There is something wrong with Hope (Chizuzu)," said Masepe. "After his suspension from ZIFA, we had no any other option than to suspend him as a club as well.

"As Harare City, our mandate is to develop soccer not to involve ourselves in unnecessary and uncalled for fights.

"Let me clearly state that Harare City FC is not concerned about what Chizuzu is doing. As a club, and indeed as a person, we don't have any quarrels with ZIFA and PSL.

"We are satisfied with the work these bodies are doing.

"I, as an individual, have no ambition to fight for any ZIFA position.

"I have never supported what he is doing, but instead I have tried to caution and counsel him letting him know that he is a club staffer not a ZIFA person, but it seems all that has fallen on deaf ears.

"If I have any ambition, which I don't even dream about at this point in time, of seeing myself at ZIFA, I don't do it through Chizuzu.

"The club doesn't condone the wayward behaviour by Chizuzu. We don't support his hopeless pursuits on ZIFA.

"The current ZIFA (leaders) are in office and have the mandate to run our football since they were constitutionally elected."

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