SRC, Zifa must find ways to end impasse

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THE recent meet-and-greet-the-media press conference organised by the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) was quite commendable as it provided a platform for the two entities to understand each other’s operations.

It was indeed a no-holds barred platform which tackled, among other things, the strained Zifa/SRC relations threatening to bring the game of football to its knees. The SRC used the platform to put on the table what would appear to be an uncompromising position with regards to their frosty relations with Zifa.

Commendable as the meeting with the media was, one would have hoped that the SRC, being the mother body, would have prioritised summoning the national football association Zifa to a round table to try to find common ground for the betterment of football.

That would have made it possible for the two bodies to organise a joint meet-and-greet-the-media press conference where both entities would have fielded questions on the same platform without necessarily seeking to outwit each other. During the Monday conference, SRC commissioner Nigel Munyati alluded to the fact that football might take even longer than anticipated to return due to the impasse between Zifa and the sports mother body.

This is unfortunate! The situation demands cool heads and urgent action for the betterment of football and the welfare of players, who are the victims of the current standoff. Zimbabwe is the only country in the region still to return to club football and for any progressive Zimbabwean, this should be worrying.

Right now the Warriors are going to Cameroon in January for the African Nations Championships (Chan) tournament where all the other participating nations have active domestic leagues, while FC Platinum are playing in the African Champions League against clubs that are playing week in, week out.

While there was a ray of hope and anticipation by clubs that football would return after Zifa advised its affiliates to resume training on January 4, the insistence by the SRC, according to Munyati’s comments, that clubs must follow the bio bubble concept which found no takers because of financial constraints, is worrisome.

Even better funded leagues like South Africa and Zambia discarded the bio bubble concept because it is expensive. The mini league tournament which was suggested by the ministry of Sports suffered a stillbirth because it failed to have a financial backer.

It is baffling that the authorities still insist on a concept they are not willing to fund.

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