Sports Minister unveils vision, ZIFA mess a priority

The newly appointed Sports and Recreation Minister Makhosini Hlongwane has challenged ZIFA Administration to clean their mess.

Speaking to the Herald, Hlongwane said he will prioritize making sport a viable Industry, that can create sustainable employment.

“Our approach as a ministry is that football, like any other sporting discipline, is an industry. It is an industry that needs to be nurtured and to be developed so that investors can find their space in that industry as well as dividends being declared and profits being made by those that invest in football,” said Hlongwane.

“But beyond that football must be able to attract sponsorship. Therefore, to that extent as a Ministry, we think that our intervention at the level of policy is on dealing with the governance and compliance issues as far as the running of sport in the country is concerned.

“This is an issue that is very high on my priorities. Good corporate governance in sport is very key to the success of Zimbabwe as a footballing nation. If we do not deal with governance issues, if we do not laundry out right now issues of good corporate governance, we will find ourselves continuing to dance in circles and lines and we do not want to do that.” he added.

Mahlongwane first problem as Sports Minister will be undoubtedly be ZIFA. The Soccer motherbody has been rocked by criss after crisis – a ballooned credit that is now in the region of $6 Million, a recent embarrassment of being excluded in World Cup qualifiers, National teams failing to fulfill National duties across Africa and a recent case involving misappropriation of funds emanated from the gate taking of AFCON qualifier between Zimbabwe and Guinea.

Hlogwane says a better football environmet starts with a clean governance at the top and his main priority will just be that – cleaning up ZIFA Mess.

“One of the issues is obviously to laundry out issues at ZIFA and make sure that ZIFA has a sparkling clean image that is capable of attracting investment into the game of football,” said Hlongwane

“That is very important. So we are going to be working on that. I have a meeting on Thursday morning with the Sports and Recreation Commission to discuss the report that has been put together by the commission as directed by the ministry to investigate issues at ZIFA in respect of such issues as the match between Zimbabwe and Guinea as well as the general inability of ZIFA to make football a winning sport in Zimbabwe.

“On Thursday, I’m going to be issuing a statement in respect of how we are going to be proceeding with regards to issues of ZIFA, but of course the SRC is the organisation that is supposed to be dealing with those matters.

“They have done a report and that report is ready. It is going to be brought to us and we are going to interrogate it on Thursday. Several recommendations are going to be put on the table. We are going to act on the basis of those recommendations that are going to be put on the table.”

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