December 2018 witnessed the beginning of a new error in Zimbabwean football, actually it was the beginning of a new era, we beg your pardon.
Harare businessman Felton Kamambo beat incumbent Philip Chiyangwa in the election to determine the man to be at the helm of the country’s football governing body for the next five years.
Kamambo’s victory was met with ululation by some section of the local football fraternity who felt Chiyangwa was leading the local game astray.
“The honeymoon is over. The election period is over now and we need to deliver what we were promising during our campaigns,” vowed Kamambo after he was declared winner.
“I am challenging myself and the entire team which has been elected into office to put the foot on the pedal,” he said.
Truth be told, Chiyangwa made some weird decisions in charge, notably moving ZIFA from it’s base of operations at 53 Livingstone Avenue to his luxury offices along Enterprise Road at a $6000 per month rental fees according to the association’s audited financial results for 2016.
Chiyangwa also bizarrely attempted to dissolve ZIFA and form the ‘National Football Association of Zimbabwe (NFAZ)’ without following proper legal channels.
So the coming in of Kamambo on board, though the businessman’s football history was not well-documented, some felt it was a gamble willing to take.
Two years later though, some football fans can’t wait for the 2022 election and will be very surprised Kamambo’s term had not reached the halfway mark.
Lets look at the hits and misses ZIFA has had under Kamambo, shall we?
Under his leadership,ZIFA has had a cat and mouse relationship with the Sports and Recreation (SRC), with the latter accusing the former of ‘gross incompetence, mismanagement and laundering of FIFA funds meant for the development of the local game.’- Miss
Admittedly, the Kamambo led board ensured that the Warriors qualified for AFCON 2019 but the continental showpiece was marred by player revolts over wages which at some point put the Warriors’ opening match against the hosts Egypt in jeopardy. Players being at loggerheads with football authorities over unpaid waged is not something which started under Kamambo though, so it will be subjective to judge his performance based on that. Hit and miss
The Kamambo led ZIFA board embarked on a debt clearing exercise this year, which his predecessors cast a blind eye on. Hit
Under Kamambo’s watch, Zimbabwean football was dragged to the mud when the Mighty Warriors boycotted their 2022 Tokyo Olympic Games second round, second leg encounter against the Chipolopolo Queens of Zambia at National Sports Stadium in September last year.
Zambia arrived at the giant facility and did their warm up but the Mighty Warriors were in a now in protest over unpaid wage. Miss
Under his leadership, the country was handed a stadium ban by the Confederation of African Football (CAF), with the continental body arguing that the countries’ arenas do not meet set standards.
The debate as to that was ZIFA or government can go on until the cows come home, therefore it is difficult to determine whether it was a miss.