Felton Kamambo
Editorial Comment

Zifa suspension was long overdue

AFTER years of empty threats, the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) finally took a bold decision to suspend the ever-bungling Zifa board led by president Felton Kamambo.

There is no doubt the suspended Zifa executive was a huge joke and has not only failed to transform the local game, but also turned themselves into more of clowns than anything else to raise doubts as to the direction the game was taking.

And given the type of leadership entrusted to oversee affairs of the country’s most popular sport, it didn’t come as a surprise to the majority of us when the Warriors finished bottom of Group G in the World Cup qualifiers.

It appeared, the more the Kamambo-led executive tried to address serious football matters, the more they exposed their ineptitude and the more people queried their credentials on how they were heading such an important association.

Kamambo’s ascendency to power was shrouded in controversy. He stands accused in courts of law of having bribed his way to the Zifa presidency in the 2018 elections ahead of business mogul Philip Chiyangwa.

He allegedly paid Zifa councillors, and the case, from his first day in office, cast doubts on his leadership style to steer the country’s football.

The suspension of the Zifa board came days after the association had cancelled an overdue annual general meeting to map out the way forward for the game..

After cancellation, Zifa councillors said nothing about the AGM despite several issues which needed to be tackled, including allegations of abuse of Fifa/Caf Covid-19 funds.

In the end, it needed the intervention of SRC, the country’s supreme sport decision-making body, who for a long time have been accused of being a toothless bulldog, to step in and save the game from further decay.

Of course, the SRC’s decision is certain to be condemned by Fifa and attract sanctions as the world football governing body protects member associations from government interference.

Usually, governments are forced to back down under the threat of their country being suspended from all football activities. But in our case, the 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, surely, 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.