NEW ERROR OR NEW ERA?


thumb image

Acting Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) president Gift Banda said a lot of things during his first press conference at the helm of the country’s football governing body.

The Njube-Lovengula legislator, was reinstated during the Zifa extraordinary general meeting (EGM) held on April 23, during which Felton Kamabo was revoked.

The meeting consequently saw the SRC lift the suspension on the Zifa executive committee.

Of the things he said in articulating the roadmap his administration would follow in reviving the struggling local game, Banda claiming that he is not seeking personal glory but just the development of football, is music in the ears of the football-loving public.

“Mine is not about power. I think when I was suspended by my erstwhile colleagues even when I won my case to be reinstated I never forced myself. That’s why I stayed on the sidelines regardless of the fact that I was absolved of any wrongdoing,” he said when asked if he would consider contesting in the next Zifa election.

“For me, it is not about football glory it’s about putting football first, that’s why we have reached out to the SRC. Let me put it properly without the government, the grants that we have been getting from Fifa will never be enough for us to see a worthy change in our football.

“We need to be in good books with the SRC, Ministry of Sports and the government so that they don’t feel when we are going to them to ask for assistance we are doing so in bad faith. We need to open lines of communication even with Cosafa, Caf and Fifa,” added Banda.

Those in the truth-telling business will admit that Zimbabwean football is in great need of a leader who puts football first.

Someone who burns the midnight oil to ensure that the game develops.

Someone who understands the plight of footballers and ensures the game is treated like a business, rather than a recreational activity.

Someone who is cognisance of the fact that the best ingredient for the growth of football, is the development of the game at youth level.

Is Banda that person?

“Let me hasten to say that as we get into the office, we will ensure that all books of accounts are audited through a forensic audit. The committee’s desire is to pave the way for a new culture of doing things within our football and ensure that the legacy issues are all resolved. This is what is going to build investor confidence and attract sponsors to football, he said.

“Our culture of doing business at ZIFA House must change. It mustn’t be business as usual. We will reconstitute the Constitutional Review Committee with the hope of addressing the shortcomings of the current statutes and ensure that it is aligned to the FIFA statutes. This will bring a new dawnton our football. We are assuming office at a time where the in-tray is full of items to be actioned.”

Talk is cheap though and once again, time will tell.