Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter
THE Sports and Recreation Commission have turned their guns on ZIFA for events surrounding the Warriors’ drama-filled participation at this year’s Africa Cup of Nations finals in Egypt and accuse the local football motherbody of gross incompetence.
Zimbabwe made headlines for all the wrong reasons on and off the pitch and ZIFA have been ordered to explain themselves before the Sports Commission comes up with a resolution, which may include suspending the football association’s board, to pave way for investigations into allegations of financial misappropriation and the flouting of the SRC Act.
The country’s football motherbody have been given until next Friday to make written presentations to the authorities pertaining to the Warriors participation at the 2019 AFCON tournament and the handling of the association’s finances between December 2018 and June 2019.
In a letter which resonates with the correspondence to the recently suspended Zimbabwe Cricket board, Sports Commission Director-General Prince Mupazviriho this week wrote to the ZIFA chief executive, Joseph Mamutse, expressing displeasure on the recent AFCON sojourn and the way the ZIFA finances have been handled.
“The Sports and Recreation Commission is acutely aware of the controversies surrounding the Warriors’ AFCON campaign which, sadly, came to an inglorious and abrupt end on Sunday 30th June, 2019.
“These controversies give rise to a prima-facie case of gross incompetence on the part of ZIFA, such conduct and/or omissions appearing consistent with Section 30 (i) (c) of the SRC Act regarding conduct by ZIFA ‘in a manner which is contrary to the national interest,’” said Mupazviriho.
The Warriors returned home empty-handed this week after they were eliminated at the group stages after finishing bottom of Group A which also included Uganda, DR Congo and the hosts Egypt.
This was the fourth time in as many attempts that they have failed to scale the hurdle in this tournament.
And, the recent outing should rank as the worst by the Zimbabwe senior men’s football team since they made their debut at Africa’s football fete in 2004.
Apart from the poor results on the pitch, there have been reports of chaos in the ZIFA camp in the run-up and during the tournament in Egypt.
The Warriors made headlines in Egypt when they threatened to boycott the opening match against the hosts on June 21 over unfulfilled promises.
The players claimed ZIFA had reneged on their side of the bargain by failing to fulfil their financial obligations.
The players later received their outstanding payments and despite putting up a strong shift against Egypt, they went on to lose the match 0-1.
There were also a lot of grey areas when ZIFA decided to charter a flight to Egypt to ferry supporters and football officials, most of whom sit in the ZIFA council.
The Warriors also threatened to boycott the last match against the DRC over outstanding bonuses and appearance fees.
The Sports Commission are also investigating how ZIFA handled the funds received from FIFA, CAF and the fund-raising committee for the AFCON tournament.
There are also depressing reports coming from Madagascar suggesting that the Warriors last game against the DRC, which they heavily lost 0-4, could have been fixed.
“In terms of Section 30, the SRC board has directed that ZIFA avail it of the following detailed information on or before close of business, Friday 12th July, 2019:
“1. ZIFA to detail all funds received by it from FIFA and CAF and/or any other football body recognised by FIFA during the period 16th December, 2018, to 30th June, 2019.
“2. ZIFA to detail all funds disbursed to ALL members of its board during the same period, and the purposes for each such disbursement to the member concerned.
“3. ZIFA to detail all funds received by it from Government and members of the public during the same period aforesaid.
“4. ZIFA to explain the source of funding for the charter of an aeroplane to Cairo for its members and supporters of the Warriors.
“5. ZIFA to provide the rationale for this decision in light of allegations that in light of allegations that all or some of the Warriors had outstanding emoluments to them.
“6. ZIFA to provide a passenger manifest in respect of such charter and the reason for the journey by each such person on the manifest.
“7. The total cost of the charter, and the total cost of accommodation paid for by ZIFA in respect of the charter passengers.
“8. ZIFA to provide an affidavit from the Warriors captain regarding his views and opinions in respect of the reported discord within the Warriors camp over outstanding allowances, and agreement on AFCON fees.
“9. ZIFA to provide detail on its financial relationship with a reported company, Conduit Holdings (Private) Limited, focusing in particular on allegation of criminal conduct in evading a valid court order.
“10. The head of the Warriors Technical Committee to provide, in affidavit from, the collective views of his committee, regarding the reasons for any discord within the Warriors
camp that may have been a contributory factor in the team’s disappointing performance at AFCON,” read part of the letter from Mupazviriho.