The Sunday News
Ngqwele Dube, Sports Correspondent
WORLD football governing body, Fifa has urged Zifa to reconsider the life bans imposed on former president, Phillip Chiyangwa and former Vice-President, Omega Sibanda.
Fifa revealed they had received communication in regard with the life bans, but they had told the mother body to relook at the decision. Zifa banned Chiyangwa and Sibanda from engaging in any football activity in August and they had been seeking endorsement from Fifa to enable the measures to be effective.
“Zifa informed Fifa, by letter on September 13th, of its decision regarding the life ban of Phillip Chiyangwa and Omega Sibanda. Referring to the relevant provisions of the Zifa statutes, Fifa has recommended that the Zifa executive committee assess again this decision at its next meeting on 4 October 2019,” read a response from a Fifa spokesperson to emailed questions.
According to sources at Zifa, the message from Fifa was a polite way of telling the local football mother body that they had not properly followed correct procedures in reaching the decisions. The source also said the Felton Kamambo-led Zifa executive had sought to give the impression they had not received any communication from Fifa as a way of insinuating the bans could be effective.
“When Fifa asks a federation to assess again a decision they are simply saying it was a wrong decision. Zifa are however, quiet about it because they do not want to be seen to be reversing the bans but they have no option as they will be of no effect. The way the bans were done was comical as there was no disciplinary hearing the two went through, but it was just a decision of the executive committee,” added the source.
Zifa chief executive officer, Joseph Mamutse, released a statement on 14 August stating that Chiyangwa was banned for life for bringing Zimbabwean football into disrepute through the 2019 Cosafa Cup bid debacle wherein he unilaterally submitted an incomplete bid document without getting a Government guarantee and Zifa board resolution. This attracted a ban on the country from Cosafa where he (Chiyangwa) is president.
Sibanda was accused of interfering with Zifa’s judicial bodies.
“Sibanda was banned for life following his incessant interference with Zifa judicial bodies during which he sought to influence a Zifa lawyer to throw away a Zifa electoral case, in a bid to foment turmoil,” wrote Mamutse in the statement.