Minister of Sport, Arts and Recreation Kirsty Coventry says that her ministry does not want to have the suspension of Zimbabwe by FIFA, lifted at this point.
FIFA suspended Zimbabwe from international football for ‘third party interference’, after the country’s sports regulatory body, the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC), suspended the Felton Kamambo-led ZIFA administration for several violations, chief among them failure to account for public funds.
The world governing body has reiterated that the suspension can only be lifted upon the unconditional reinstatement of the Kamambo-led board, while the SRC insists having the embargo lifted is not a priority, as there are more “pressing issues ” to deal with in the administration of the game.
Article continues below.
Responding to questions in today’s question and answer session in Parliament, Coventry said her ministry has never asked FIFA to lift the suspension because it does not want the embargo to be lifted at this point.
“We have accepted that (the ban),” she said. “We have never asked them (FIFA) to lift it.
“We don’t want them to lift it at this point until we cleared and clean up our soccer.
“We are not going to do what other members may say.”
The ban has seen Zimbabwe missing out on several international tournaments that include all COSAFA competitions, CAF Champions League, Confederation Cup, international friendlies and the 2023 Afcon Qualifiers.
Coventry added: “The Ministry and the SRC will stand together with these women (alleged victims of sexual harassment), along with the corruption that has been going on, for as long as it takes.
“Those are the steps, we have laid down the steps. The steps that have been taken, have been followed.
“The process now is that the ZIFA executive, that was duly elected, has given the roodmap and the points that they want to clarify and clean up.
“They (the Banda-led ZIFA board) will work with the SRC, they will give those reports to CAF and FIFA and we will then take it from there.”