FORMER top referee Brighton Mudzamiri has thrown his name into the hat to challenge ZIFA Northern Region chairman Willard Manyengavana for the top post.
Nominations for the race for the ZIFA Northern Region Division One leadership closed on Monday and Manyengavana, widely regarded as one of the finest football administrators on the domestic front, will have a challenger this time around.
Mudzamiri is being backed by some administrators who have forged a coalition to try and oust the current leadership that is led by Manyengavana and whose other influential members include Martin Kweza and Sweeney Mushonga.
There were attempts, at the weekend, by the challengers to woo Harare business executive Spencer Manguwa into their camp to consider taking one of the posts available in the leadership positions.
Manguwa, who is an executive at NetOne, who are the flagship sponsors of Dynamos, Highlanders, CAPS United, Chapungu and Black Rhinos, turned down that offer because he was unsure of the baggage that such a move carries.
Manyengavana has been credited with transforming the ZIFA Northern Region into arguably the best of the four Division 1 leagues with a number of sponsors being brought into the fold by his team over the last couple of years.
The Northern Region Division One is considered the strongest of the four leagues and this year Ruyamuro Service Stations came on board as the flagship sponsors of the league.
The jockeying of posts in the regional leagues is also related to the politics that will culminate in the elections for the ZIFA executive committee in December this year.
“You can see the alliances that are beginning to emerge and it is all related to the politics of the grand prize of the ZIFA executive board and that is what happens all the time at this stage of these elections,’’ sources said.
“Remember these are the people who vote when it comes to the ZIFA board elections and they are an important constituency.
“You are going to see this pattern emerging across the board.’’
Mudzamiri rose to fame when he was appointed to be one of the match officials for the 2002 FIFA World Cup in South Korea and Japan.
He handled just two matches at the global football showcase before he returned home.
Already, the Premier Soccer League have held their elections with CAPS United boss Farai Jere emerging as the leader of the country’s top-flight league.