Collin Matiza Sports Editor
Government has hailed ZIFA president Philip Chiyangwa on his appointment as vice president of the powerful CAF Africa Cup of Nations Committee while praising Tommy Sithole for a good fight despite losing his bid to retain his post as the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa secretary-general yesterday.
Sithole polled 18 votes while his Sudanese counterpart, Ahmed Abou Elgasim Hashim, got 36 votes during the ANOCA elective 17th Ordinary Session of the General Assembly in Djibouti yesterday.
Zimbabwe’s leading sports administrator on the international scene, Sithole, who has worked at the International Olympic Committee in the past, will keep his other post at the United Nations until December, World Anti-Doping Agency until 2020, on the Olympic Solidarity Board until next year and as the senior advisor of the World Taekwondo Federation until next year.
He is set to join another world sports organisation soon, as its vice-president, for four years and, despite his failed bid to retain his ANOCA post yesterday, he still retained the class to thank everyone, including the Government, for supporting him.
Sport and Recreation Minister Makhosini Hlongwane praised Sithole for his good fight and hailed Chiyangwa for his recent appointment.
“The Ministry of Sport and Recreation is delighted to join the nation in congratulating Dr Philip Chiyangwa on his recent appointment as Vice President for the Africa Cup of Nations Committee,’’ Hlongwane said in a statement.
“This new soccer administration assignment conferred to Dr Chiyangwa unequivocally illustrates Zimbabwe’s sport administration gravitas which continues to impact regional, continental and international spheres of influence. To this effect, the sky is the limit for Dr Philip Chiyangwa and other sport administrators in Zimbabwe.
“Dr Philip Chiyangwa must be assured that he has the support of Zimbabwe’s sport constituency which is an embodiment Ministry of Sport and Recreation’s Sport Diplomacy Programme.
“In as much as this recent credential appendage to his sport administration memoir in the making is a personal accolade, it is as good an accolade for the Football fraternity in Zimbabwe.
“This particular achievement by Dr Chiyangwa also complements successes by other Zimbabwean sport administrators who have assumed influential administration portfolios assignments within regional, continental and global sport management bodies.’’
He also spoke about Sithole’s failure to retain his ANOCA post in Djibouti yesterday.
“In the same vein, the Minister of Sport and Recreation empathises with Dr Tommy Sithole’s untimely electoral loss as secretary-general of the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) elections in Djibouti this morning,’’ the statement read.
“On the other hand, the Minister of Sport and Recreation expresses his profound gratitude to Dr Tommy Sithole’s contribution to the Global Olympic Movement.
“Therefore, the Minister of Sport and Recreation wishes him well in his future endeavours and all his noble aspirations directed towards the interests of sport development in Zimbabwe and beyond.’’
Sithole spent four years as ANOCA secretary-general. He took over the hot seat from Egypt’s Khaled Zein El Din in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, in July 2013 after spending 10 years working as the IOC Director of International Co-operation and Development.
Sithole also served as president of the Zimbabwe Olympic Committee since 1982.