Petros Kausiyo Deputy Sports Editor
THE Zimbabwe National Soccer Supporters Association have escalated their battle to try and have the 2019 COSAFA Cup held in this country and petitioned the High Court seeking a Declaratory Order over the matter.
Leader of the supporters’ body, Eddie “Mboma’’ Nyatanga, yesterday filed an application with the High Court in Harare over the issue and cited Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Minister Kirsty Coventry as the respondent.
Nyatanga, in his papers, also questioned the appointment of Sport and Recreation Commission director-general Prince Mupazviriho, who was one of the key people who handled the ZIFA bid to stage the COSAFA Cup.
In his founding affidavit, Nyatanga is praying that the High Court will issue a Declaratory Order that would nullify the announcement that Coventry made on the hosting of the COSAFA Cup.
COSAFA had wanted to stage their biggest tournament, in history, this year in this country from May 19 to June 1.
But ZNSSA believe ZIFA should have been allowed to take the lead in the hosting with the Ministry only giving direction on the guarantees.
“The respondent on February 18, 2019 made an announcement that ZIFA would not host the 2019 edition of the COSAFA senior men’s football tournament scheduled to be hosted in Zimbabwe,’’ Nyatanga said in his application.
“The respondent’s announcement of her decision on behalf of the Zimbabwe Government and ZIFA is improper and beyond the scope of her powers in terms of the SRC Act.
“The decision was not for the respondent to make or announce as ZIFA had only sought Government guarantee in order to make an informed decision.’’
The Minister has 10 days within which to file her opposing papers.
Nyatanga further argued that the Minister had allegedly breached the SRC Act in allegedly usurping the powers of the Commission on the COSAFA Cup bid.
“As a matter of fact, all interactions and engagements with registered national associations are exclusively reserved for the SRC by the statute,’’ argued Nyatanga.
“The respondent had no right to involve herself in ZIFA matters. All she was simply required to do in the situation was to communicate Government’s position to the ZIFA leadership, not to assume the role of making and announcing the decision herself.
‘’The respondent exercised power which she did not have in direct violation of the SRC Act.”