19 April 2019

Zimbabwe: Zifa, Umbro Re-Engage

ZIFA have not closed the door on international sportswear manufacturers Umbro despite enduring a false start to their relationship. It has emerged that representatives of the kit producers are in the country and held a meeting with ZIFA president Felton Kamambo and some members of his leadership yesterday.

Repeated efforts to get a comment from Kamambo on the outcome of the meeting were fruitless as it also emerged that both parties had agreed to keep their cards close to their chests until after another round of meetings next week after which a joint statement is likely to be issued.

Kamambo, however, told ZIFA councillors in his activity report, which has been circulated ahead of next Saturday's annual meeting, that they had opted to re-engage Umbro instead of dumping the sportswear company, whose roots are in the United Kingdom.

"The year 2019 began on a good note as we signed a kit sponsorship deal with a reputable sportswear supplier from United Kingdom, Umbro.

"Despite Umbro's failure to supply kits for two of our teams which played in March, we had good intentions for our national teams when we engaged Umbro.

"We are currently engaging them further to ensure that we do not find ourselves in a similar situation in future," Kamambo said.

In his report, the ZIFA president outlined a host of initiatives and developments that have taken place since he assumed office in December last year.

Kamambo also gave the strongest possible hint that ZIFA councillors could be part of the African Cup of Nations jamboree in Cairo, Egypt, at least for the opening ceremony and the Warriors' Group A showdown with the Pharaohs on June 21.

"I would like to congratulate you all for your invaluable role in our qualification for the 32nd edition of the Africa Cup of Nations finals.

"I was in Cairo for the Total Africa Cup of Nations draw and was delighted to see the Warriors being handed a fair draw.

"As ZIFA, we are fully aware of our responsibilities, let's work together and prepare the Warriors for a successful tournament. We want to see the Warriors surpassing exploits of the previous three teams to go beyond the group stages.

"We will be part of the glitz and glamour of the opening ceremony as our boys will feature in the first match of the competition, as they battle against the host nation. We are the Warriors, we will fight with honour!" Kamambo said.

The ZIFA boss also wants the Congress to hold a strategic workshop after which he hopes that there could be greater understanding of the different roles between the secretariat, the councillors and the board.

"Our executive committee is seized with the task to overhaul the governance structure of our institution.

"These legal and conceptual reforms will usher in a concrete foundation for the success and development of our game. And same will be adopted across all our affiliates.

"As we labour on these reforms, our fundamental priority is to reposition our institution as a trustworthy entity. In order to achieve this, our guiding principles will be transparency, accountability and inclusivity.

"These governance reforms are far deeper and necessary if ZIFA is to perform on its objectives. The separation of powers between the executive and secretariat is long overdue.

"As we apply ourselves to ensure that we set the firm foundation for the governance of our institution, we remain alive to our key purpose, which is development of football across all sectors, specifically by focusing on the following:

Ensuring development of strong leagues (men and women) across all affiliates

Organising youth leagues (men and women)

Strategic planning -- Implementing governance programmes -- Implementing grassroots football promotion and development strategy

Implementing a referee's promotion and development strategy -- Implementation of agreed objectives, under the FIFA, Contract of Objectives Agreement programmes -- Building a strong and reputable institution

Improving relations with sponsors and partners," said Kamambo.

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