The Sports and Recreation Commission of Zimbabwe is ready and prepared for the consequences of its decision to suspend the entire Zimbabwe Football Association board.
“We are prepared in many respects for whatever might happen,” said Gerald Mlotshwa, chairman of the SRC.
One of the things that might happen is a ban by the world football governing body, FIFA. Government interference in the running of football is frowned upon, and FIFA has always enforced this stance. Mlotshwa and his colleagues believe they will see it differently in Zimbabwe’s case.
“We would hope that Fifa would want to see the evidence that’s presented to them and that they would work with us to build football in Zimbabwe, and even to assist with appointing an interim committee,” explained Karen Mutasa, a board member of the SRC.
Mutasa’s evidence includes allegations of sexual abuse of female referees, fraud, and misappropriation of public funds. Felton Kamambo has not responded to the damning accusations or the move to suspend him.
Zimbabwe is preparing to compete in the delayed 2021 Africa Cup of Nations to be staged in Cameroon early next year, and the current situation does not help the team.
“If we are suspended from Afcon next year, we are prepared for that. That is fine. We need to deal with football,” noted Mlotshwa, adding that Zimbabwe needed this opportunity to fix itself.
Mlotshwa did not give a time frame for how long the fixing would take or what measures and steps would be taken to implement said fixing. A caretaker committee to run the day-to-day affairs of ZIFA looks likely to be the first step.
The move by the Sports and Recreation Commission was immediately felt as all Premier Soccer League were cancelled on Tuesday due to the unavailability of referees. ZIFA supplies officials for league games. To complete a rather miserable day for football fans in Zimbabwe, Khama Billiat announced his retirement from the national team at 31.