Zimbabwe/Kenya: Kenya, in a Way, Inspired SRC to Crack the Whip

17 November 2021

ALTHOUGH developments in Kenya provided the Sports Commission with a template, the ZIFA board's suspension was a culmination of two years of incompetence.

And, according to the Sports Commission, the final straw was Sunday's lifeless home draw against Ethiopia, in a 2022 World Cup qualifier.

The Warriors picked just two points, from their Group G World Cup qualifiers, out of a possible 18 points.

They finished bottom of their group, three points adrift of Ethiopia, who were considered the weakest team.

The Warriors managed a goalless draw against Bafana Bafana before their 1-1 draw, against Ethiopia, at the National Sports Stadium.

They scored just one goal, from open play, in their 540 minutes of action while the other goal came from the penalty spot.

Knowledge Musona, who converted the penalty, and Kuda Mahachi, scored the two goals.

The poor performance, in the World Cup qualifiers, was the final straw, for the SRC, who felt that, if they didn't act, local football was heading into its graveyard.

SRC chairman, Gerald Mlotshwa, said events in Kenya gave them a template, of how authorities needed to act, on the occasions they felt their football was heading in the wrong direction.

The Kenyan Government dismissed their national football federation, accusing its leaders of abusing public funds, and failing the nation, with their questionable way of managing the senior national team.

FIFA have ruled that the move by the Kenyans could put the two parties on a collision course, leading to the possible suspension of the East African nation, from international football.

However, this has not forced the Kenyans to panic, with FKF leader, Nick Mwendwa, being ordered by a judge, on Monday, not to visit the headquarters of the football controlling body.

"With respect to the Kenyan situation, certainly it has re-ignited us, remember this whole ZIFA thing started going back to 2019, and it has been up and down, things get stale, you get jaded," said Mlotshwa.

"I think with what happened in Kenya, the board said "look at what is happening in Kenya, guys let's finish this once and for all".

"So, yes, it did serve as an inspiration, somewhat."

Sports Commissioner, Nigel Munyati, said ZIFA had been on SRC's radar for some time and they felt this was the right moment to act.

"The Kenyan situation might have provided a reminder but, as we all know, what happened on Sunday was a culmination of a complete failure in football administration," he said.

"And, to some of us, that was a reminder that "guys we can't allow this to go on."

"We have to do something, to turn the ship around, and stem the rot because it was just going way out of control.

"Our performance in the World Cup qualifiers, for example, going to the AFCON was just probably going to be a continuation of that pain to the people of Zimbabwe.

"So, I think, this was the best time for us to start making definitive decisions and take definitive action about how to turn things around in our football."

Munyati said it was disappointing that ZIFA had been reduced into an event-focused organisation.

"Because of the mismanagement of our sport, particularly football, we have been reduced to a nation that lives for events," he said.

"That's the wrong way to approach development in sport.

"There must be an ongoing programme which, unfortunately, ZIFA has failed to implement.

"And, now, are waiting for AFCON, and what if there is another one, and another one, and then stop thinking about the long-term?

"We need to now embark on a longer term planning programme for the sustainable development of our football.

"So, yes, a few individuals might be inconvenienced but, unfortunately, this is for the betterment of football."

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