Editorial Comment

Committee carries hopes of the nation

THE Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) yesterday appointed a nine-member Zifa Restructuring Committee which they say will administer football until a new board is voted into office.

This comes after the SRC a month ago took a bold decision to suspend the ever-bungling Zifa board led by its inept president Felton Kamambo.

The Kamambo-led board stood accused of running down the local game and their suspension did not come as a surprise to the majority especially considering that the Warriors finished bottom of Group G in the World Cup qualifiers. Kamambo’s ascendency to power has been shrouded with allegations of bribing councillors, who have proved dysfunctional and complicit to problems bedevilling local football.

Kamambo is facing bribery allegations where he is accused of vote buying by paying voters for him to be elected president in the Zifa 2018 elections ahead of the complainant Philip Chiyangwa.

The bribery allegations cast doubts on Kamambo and the councillors’ integrity in serving football. Thus the committee appointed by the SRC yesterday now carries hopes of a nation and should hit the ground running by reviving hopes of the majority. The committee is led by Blessing Rugara, who is the chairperson and also sports expert Tommy Sithole, Anna Mguni, Joyce Kapota, Charles Sibanda, Joel Gombera, Brian Moyo, Desmond Ali and Rudo Mugandani.

The death of the local game has largely been attributed to lack of basic setting in establishing the right mix of principles that guide actions towards achieving intended goals. Kamambo’s mismanagement saw the corporate world turning its back on the football association and thus the restructuring committee needs to present their credentials in terms of their pedigree in good administrative skills to avoid similar mistakes in the future.

There is a need for the Zifa restructuring committee to bring in stability while engaging all stakeholders who can add value to the broader national vision on how modern football and sports should be managed. Of course, SRC’s decision is certain to be condemned by Fifa and attract the threat of a suspension from world football’s governing body, which rigorously looks to protect member associations from government interference.

Usually, governments are forced to back down under the threat of their country being suspended from all football activity. But in our case SRC should be reminded not to climb down in their decision as it is the only way to solve problems bedevilling the local game. Should Fifa move to ban Zimbabwe from international matches let it be as the difference is the same. It’s better to be isolated from serious football and make use of that time to put our house in order by ensuring that we have the right people in place.