Petros Kausiyo in HARARE and Sikhumbuzo Moyo in GWERU
FIFA and the Sport and Recreation Commission yesterday dealt a huge blow to claims by a cabal led by Trevor Carelse-Juul to try and force their way into power via the backdoor when the two bodies distanced themselves from claims being made by the former administrators.
The administrators, including some who first met in Sandton, South Africa, moved to Harare on Thursday, claiming they were working with the Sports Commission to set up a normalisation committee and had advised FIFA and CAF about a leadership vacuum at ZIFA.
FIFA, however, indicated yesterday that there had been no change in position relating to Zimbabwe since they received communication from ZIFA over a February 17 assembly resolution which they were still seized with.
“For the time being we can only refer to previous statement,” said a FIFA spokesperson in reference to their earlier confirmation that they had received the ZIFA Congress resolution on the election roadmap.
This means that the world football governing body still views the resolutions of the current leadership as representative of the domestic football leaders.
The Sandton Project has been working clandestinely to undermine the ZIFA leadership and destabilise the association’s operations.
On Thursday, Carelse-Juul teamed up with former presidents Rafik Khan and Vincent Pamire as they upped their bid to depose Philip Chiyangwa’s executive on claims that the Harare property mogul’s mandate expired on March 29.
They then set up an 11- member committee to spearhead the fight against the Chiyangwa executive and the group was hoping to charm the Sports Commission leadership of board chairman Edward Siwela and acting director-general Joseph Muchechetere.
However, in an interview in Gweru yesterday, the Sports Commission head of secretariat distanced the supreme sports body from the cabal and said the commission fully believes in the internal conflict resolutions mechanisms at ZIFA.
Muchechetere said ZIFA have the capacity and mechanisms to deal with any crisis if ever there was any within their leadership.
“Those guys who met in Harare have a right to do so because they are football stakeholders, but it will be wrong for them to think that we are in agreement with their action.
“As SRC, we are fully aware that National Sports Associations, ZIFA included must have self-correcting mechanism and as for ZIFA, there are members to make those corrective measures. It’s the members who should direct how ZIFA should be run,” said Muchechetere.
He said the Sports Commission were in constant communication with ZIFA and would soon be meeting with the association over the matter.
“We are aware of what has been alleged to be ZIFA’s leadership and constitutional crisis and naturally we have written to them to furnish us with what exactly is the situation and soon we must be meeting.
“We stressed, however, that they must always adhere to the tenets of their own constitution, but know that they met in December where they postponed their meeting and met again early this year, which is good as it shows that they are following their constitution, but to say we are in agreement with what transpired yesterday (Thursday), that will be wrong,” said Muchechetere.
He said ZIFA remains an independent structure subservient to the Sports Commission and an affiliate of FIFA.
ZIFA also reacted angrily to the actions of the cabal.
After a poorly-attended forum organised by former ZIFA chief executive Jonathan Mashingaidze, the association reacted angrily yesterday and slapped the proponents of the project – Carelse-Juul, Pamire and Khan and former women’s football administrator Eusebio Maseko – with suspensions from the game.
ZIFA chief executive Joseph Mamutse, said in statement that they had slapped the trio with sanctions for transgressing the association’s statutes.
“The Zimbabwe Football Association has provisionally expelled Trevor Carelse-Juul, Eusebio Maseko, Rafiq Khan and Vincent Pamire from partaking in any association football-related activities in Zimbabwe for violating the ZIFA constitution.
“The resolution was unanimously made by the ZIFA Executive Committee at its meeting on the 13th of April 2018, citing the above individuals’ gross violations of the ZIFA constitution and their establishment of parallel structures in an attempt to usurp power from constitutionally elected officials.
“Reasons for the expulsion are as follows:
1) Peddling falsehoods and unfounded allegations against legally elected leadership in a bid to overthrow a legitimately installed leadership.
2) Establishment of illegal parallel structures meant to destabilise legitimate administration structures and attempting to wrestle power from elected.
3) Absolute disdain and disregard for the ZIFA constitution and the ZIFA Rules and Regulations. The expelled individuals’ conduct intransigently violates Article 2(e), (f) and Article 7 of the ZIFA constitution.
“Accordingly, the expelled officials cease to be members of the football family and are not allowed to associate with or represent any bona fide member of the football family,’’ Mamutse said.
The Football Association of Zambia this week also banned a number of high-profile football administrators in that country.
“The Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) has, with immediate effect, banned former expelled FAZ Executive Committee member Mr Blackwell Siwale from all football-related activities,” said FAZ in a statement.
“Following a meeting held by the FAZ Ethics Committee on Friday April 6, 2018, chaired by Mr Kephas Katongo, Mr Siwale was found guilty of obtaining and circulating illegally obtained FAZ documents.
“He has further been found guilty of uttering statements with potential to scare away FAZ partners and potential partners. “The Association notes that, despite failure to appeal his case at the FAZ Council, Mr Siwale has continued to put the association’s name into disrepute through the Press.
“FAZ wishes to appeal to all its members not to allow Mr Siwale entry to any stadia as doing so will culminate into serious penalties. FAZ has further banned Mr Damiano Mutale and Mr Kelvin Chipili from all football-related activities for putting the name of the association and its president into disrepute.
“This follows the duo’s decision to take the FAZ president to court for abuse of authority of office, a matter which was later withdrawn by the complainant.
“The duo has also been found guilty of falsely accusing the association of preventing them from attending the annual general meeting. FAZ wishes to remind its members to adhere to football rules when settling disputes. FIFA has set guidelines that members should regularly familiarise themselves with to avoid sanctions from the mother body.
“The FIFA rules and regulations clearly stipulate the channels of communication whenever members feel aggrieved.
“It is our hope that the decision taken by the association will bring sanity to the Zambian game and allow the smooth flow of day-to-day running of football.”
Mashingaidze had listed ZIFA creditors, the Coaches Union of Zimbabwe leadership and other former presidents Leo Mugabe and Cuthbert Dube on his list of participants.
But Dube, who has not been involved in any football activities since waving goodbye to the game two years, distanced himself from the project.
“I have nothing to do with that meeting and I have not been involved with football issues since leaving ZIFA,’’ he said.
While Carelse-Juul and his committee have been sourcing funding for activities to undermine ZIFA, Chiyangwa and his executive have busied themselves with securing sponsorship for the various national teams and ensuring they fulfil their international obligations in CAF assignments.
ZIFA, on Wednesday secured the important sponsorship of mobile network giants Econet Wireless through their subsidiary Kwese TV. Kwese TV announced it has taken over the sponsorship of the Mighty Warriors’ participation in the African Cup of Nations qualifiers in Econet Wireless’ first romance with domestic football in more than a decade.