The Normalisation Committee took office exactly 50 days ago, following FIFA’s decision to lift the suspension on Zimbabwe, to the delight of football stakeholders in the country.
The five-member Committee was appointed by the world governing body to run the affairs of the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) until July next year.
The The committee was tasked with restructuring the ZIFA administration, reviewing the troubled association’s statutes and electoral code to ensure compliance with FIFA statutes, to act as an electoral committee in order to organise and conduct new board elections, as well as ensuring proper financial handover.
Initially, the committee had four members —chairman Lincon Mutasa, former Highlanders defender Sikhumbuzo Ndebele, former Mighty Warriors coach Rosemary Mugadza, and legal practitioner Nyasha Sanyamandwe.
FIFA then beefed it up by adding chattered accountant Cynthia Malaba, who assumed the role of vice chairperson.
The first thing done by the committee was to appoint a new referees’ committee —headed by former match official Norman Matemera.
Faith Sibanda was ropped in as Matemera’s deputy, while Stella Ruvinga, Kuda Rusina and Tendai Bwanya assumed the role of committee members.
A good start by the Mutasa-led Normalisation Committee, some felt, based on how scandalous match officiating has become in Zimbabwe, especially in the Csstle Lager Premier Soccer League.
While the committee can operate anyhow it pleases, the snail pace at which it has been preparing for the Warriors’ return to international football, is worrying to say the least.
The country’s senior men’s national soccer team is scheduled to take part in the 2024 African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifiers between September 22-24.
The Normalisation Committee advertised positions for all national teams coaches and promised the nation that a technical committee will be appointed to choose the successful candidates.
The committee made a mess of the adverts and appeared to be unknowledgable of CAF requirements as far as the appointment of coaches for national teams is concerned.
According to the continental governing body, only holders of the the CAF A and UEFA Pro Licence qualify to coach national teams, but the Normalisation Committee listed UEFA A as qualification for interested candidates, meaning it can hire a coach who may end up not sitting on the bench.
But that is now water under the bridge, what’s more important is that an advert was flighted and there has been an encouraging response.
“We want to have a database of all applicants so that we can let the Technical Committee to choose the best candidate, we have more than 200 applicants,” said Mutasa earlier this month.
Less than a month before the CHAN qualifiers though, no Warriors coach has been appointed.
In fact, even the Technical Committee has not been appointed.
When Mutasa was sought for a comment last week, he said the Normalisation Committee will appoint a new coach for the Warriors in two weeks time.
Simply put, whorever is appointed Warriors coach will have less than 10 days to assemble a team and prepare for the CHAN qualifiers.
Moreover, since it took office 50 days, the Normalisation Committee has never had a media briefing to provide updates on its activities or clarify its mandate.
Will the committee fulfill all its duties? Only time will tell.