Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter
COSAFA have said ZIFA have no authority to recall Phillip Chiyangwa from his position as president and advised the domestic football leaders they can choose to opt out of the regional group if they so wish.
The COSAFA bosses, in a letter signed by secretary-general Sue Destombes, also believe efforts in Zimbabwe should be directed towards realising the massive potential that domestic football has instead of boardroom battles. Chiyangwa, a former ZIFA president, was accused of allegedly working to destabilise the domestic game.
His successor Felton Kamambo made sensational claims of sabotage against Chiyangwa with the association resolving to recall the businessman from his post as COSAFA boss.
However, COSAFA yesterday sent their response to ZIFA advising them that they have “no right to recall” their president.
Destombes, said COSAFA will not be dragged into the domestic affairs of a member association which should be solved internally.
“We are in receipt of your letter dated 10th July 2019, the contents of which have been noted and we respond as follows:
“1. Your allegations against the former president of ZIFA, whether founded or unfounded, are domestic in nature and should therefore be dealt with in Zimbabwe. These issues have nothing to do with COSAFA.
“2. The president of COSAFA was duly elected by the General Assembly of COSAFA in December 2016 in accordance with Article 10.3 of the Statutes.
“3. The Zimbabwe Football Association does not have the right to “recall Dr Philip Chiyangwa as COSAFA president” despite his nationality.
“4. The Zimbabwe Football Association, a Member of COSAFA should not seek to use the office of the president of COSAFA to resolve domestic disputes and in so doing, bring the Zonal Union and the presidency into disrepute.
“5. It is the prerogative of any Member Association to consider whether or not to participate in the activities of the Zonal Union.
“We trust that the Association will act in a responsible manner and seek to resolve any differences so that the focus of the leadership can be on football development and reaching the full and considerable potential which Zimbabwe has,” wrote Destombes.
The ZIFA leadership made stunning revelations that Chiyangwa was leading a syndicate that includes his former deputy Omega Sibanda, suspended board member Chamu Chiwanza and journalist Hope Chizuzu to destabilise their ship.
The group was also accused of fomenting disgruntlement in the Warriors camp during the AFCON tournament.
All three deny the charges.
ZIFA chief executive, Joseph Mamutse, then wrote to the regional football body to consider the motion to recall Chiyangwa.
“Mr Chiyangwa has been organising secret meetings with some individuals bent on sabotaging the current Zimbabwe football administration where plans were made and implemented to destabilise our football.
“Mr Chiyangwa has been through his contacts within Zimbabwean football and working with the likes of Hope Chizuzu actively involved in attempts to influence the Zimbabwe senior men’s team players to stage boycotts and near strikes leading to the disturbances which rocked our Warriors camp in Egypt.
“We advise that due to his interference in Zimbabwean football, we may be forced to reconsider our participation with COSAFA activities during Mr Chiyangwa’s tenure and hope COSAFA will see sense in our request,’’ said Mamutse in his letter.
Meanwhile, Chiwanza has filed an urgent High Court application seeking the nullification of the decision to suspend him from his role as a ZIFA board member.
The Harare businessman said it was irregular for him to be suspended by a ZIFA emergency committee without being afforded the chance to be heard.