SRC responds to FIFA ban


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Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) chairman Gerald Mlothswa has scoffed at the ban FIFA imposed on Zimbabwean football yesterday, saying the sports regulatory body is not moved by it and will not act in accordance with the demands of the world governing body.

FIFA banned Zimbabwean football from all international competitions for government interference in the running of the game after the SRC suspended the Felton Kamambo-led Zifa  administration for several violations, chief among them failure to account for public funds.

Having threatened to sanction Zimbabwean football since December last year, Fifa finally did so and ordered that Kamambo and company be reinstated for the ban to be lifted.

Mlotshwa insists that will not happen.

“Correspondence from FIFA, dated the 24th instant, addressed to the suspended ZIFA General
Secretary purporting to suspend the Country’s national football association as a member of the
FIFA ‘family’ is noted,” the Commission said in a statement.

“In essence, it appears that FIFA is constrained by the provisions of its own statutes to protect
certain of the undoubted sexual predators, fraudsters and corrupt administrators at the helm of football administration in Zimbabwe.
All this in the name of shielding ZIFA from, to quote FIFA in its letter “… undue interference from a
third party”.

“It is a fact that some of these administrators are facing, inter alia, charges of sexual harassment,
bribery, fraud and general corruption before Zimbabwe’s Courts. FIFA has the full details of these matters.

“It is clear that FIFA has interpreted these very serious charges as ‘mere allegations’,
notwithstanding its “…zero tolerance policy towards corruption, sexual abuse and any other unethical
conduct”.

“Both FIFA and CAF are fully aware of an insidious culture of sexual harassment perpetrated
against female football referees in Zimbabwe.
For the eighteen months lapsed since these allegations were brought to their respective
attention, neither body has initiated any tangible investigation focused on culprits whose names
are known to them.

“The instances of fraud and corruption within the corridors of ZIFA have also been brought to the
attention of FIFA, who have placed on record their extreme reluctance to involve themselves in
remedying this deplorable state of affairs.
The SRC has a documented and demonstrable “zero tolerance policy towards corruption, sexual
abuse and any other unethical conduct” in the administration of sport in Zimbabwe. It does not pay mere lip service to the same.

“We, at the SRC, act decisively within the confines of the laws of Zimbabwe, in particular the
Sports & Recreation Commission Act as well as the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act.
Board of Commissioners Chairman Gerald Mlotshwa, Dr. Allen Chiura, Colleen de Jong, Gail Van Jaarsveldt, Karen Mutasa, NigelMunyati, Titus Zvomuya and Sebastain Garikai (Acting Director General)

“FIFA statutes are not a part of the laws of Zimbabwe. Conversely, ZIFA, and indeed all other
national sports associations in the country, are subject to the laws of Zimbabwe. It is for this reason that they, and their respective constitutions, are registered with the SRC.

“FIFA recognizes ZIFA as the sole governing body for football administration in Zimbabwe by
virtue of its registration with the SRC.
It is on this basis that it is admitted as a member of the “FIFA Family” by FIFA.

“The SRC will hold a press conference with the media on Monday, 28th February, 2022, at a time
to be advised, in order to render more fully its views on the correspondence from FIFA, and
more importantly, to advise Zimbabweans of its road map on football and ZIFA for the duration
of 2022 It suffices to quote, for the time being, a perceptive message received from CAF President,
Patrice Motsepe: –
“…We remain committed to finding a solution that respects the sovereignty and legal issues that you
raised and is in accordance with the statutes and regulations of FIFA and CAF…”

“Pending any such compromise, the ZIFA Executive Committee and the General Secretary shall
remain suspended. The various matters pending before the Courts in Zimbabwe shall continue
as shall the criminal proceedings and all other actions focused on restructuring football in our
country.

“Domestic football will continue in Zimbabwe. It will be supported fully by the SRC, as has been
the demonstrable case thus far.
ZIFA will return to the “FIFA Family” when it is in a condition fit to do so.”