Jostle For Zifa's Chairmanship Ahead of 2010

Harare – Suspended former Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) councillor Francis Zimunya has declared he will challenge Wellington Nyatanga for the Zifa chairmanship post when his term ends in March.

Zimunya becomes the second high profile administrator to openly challenge Nyatanga after Premier Soccer League chairman Tapuwa Matangaidze said he was not seeking re election and was instead going for the Zifa top post.

Zimunya, who in 2004 was suspended for bringing the game of football into disrepute, said he was ready to fight his ban in order to go for the Zifa chairmanship whose nomination for candidates has already opened.

The Zifa polls have aroused a lot of interest because the winner will goon to attend the Fifa Congress that precedes the start of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa in June.

But before dreaming of the top post, Zimunya will have to overcome another hurdle. According to Zifa chief executive officer, Henrietta Rushwaya the former northern region chairman is still suspended and cannot hold a post in Zimbabwean football.

Rishwaya’s influence in football also faces a challenge following the death of Vice President Joseph Msika who was her relative.

Although his four year suspension for bringing the game of football into disrepute expired in August 2008, Rushwaya said Fifa have not responded to a letter from Zifa with regards to the matter.

The letter written to Fifa secretary general on 19 February 2009, a copy of which is in the hands the media reads in part, "We hereby request your confirmation on the lifting of the four year ban for the eight former Zifa counsillors whopse ban ended om 16 August 2008.

"Your advice on the above mentioned  request will be greatly appreciated," wrote Rushwaya. Subsequent to that another of the suspended councillors Benedict Moyo was refused participation in the Zimbabwe Soccer Coaches Association elections on that basis.

Zimunya, however, said since it was Zifa who had suspended him in the first place and Fifa only endorsed the ban, there was no need to seek Fifa’s clarification since the suspension had expired.