ZIFA have insisted the Beach Soccer elections scheduled for tomorrow in Harare will go ahead as scheduled despite claims by incumbent chairman Joseph Musariri he had suspended his rival Marshal Jonga.
Musariri surprised the Beach Soccer membership and the ZIFA leadership when he claimed he had suspended Jonga, a move that would have made the Harare business executive ineligible for the elections.
Ironically, Jonga has emerged the only challenger to Musariri for the chairman’s post.
Both ZIFA chief executive, Joseph Mamutse and the electoral committee mandated to run the football polls at all levels from affiliate to the association’s board dismissed Musariri’s claims.
Mamutse, who is an ex-officio member of the ZIFA Electoral Committee, said there had been changes to the notices he had issued on July 23 notifying the Beach Soccer members about the election.
“To all Beach Soccer stakeholders. The Zimbabwe Football Association hereby informs you that the elections for the Beach Soccer executive committee have been scheduled as follows — Date 9 August, 2018, venue Harare Holiday Inn, time 11am.”
The ZIFA chief executive said there had been no official meeting that had resolved to disqualify a candidate by a rival candidate nor suspend any member of the affiliate body.
“The suspension of the Beach Soccer Vice Chairman Marshall Jonga by Musariri is null and void. We wonder where he got such authority to suspend.
“We are not even aware of the so-called Beach constitution he is quoting. Clearly, he is being mischievous ahead of an election.
“He has no power to suspend,” Mamutse said.
ZIFA Electoral Committee vice chairman, Tinashe Tanyanyiwa, professed ignorance about the suspension and maintained that their duty was to administer the elections.
The Beach Soccer chairman could have been elected on July 14, but the ZIFA Electoral Committee deferred the staging of the polls as they sought to clarify issues related to the electoral college of the affiliate.
The affiliate has, however, regularised its structures and are now ready to vote for their leader tomorrow.
And Jonga is hopeful he will be the next leader of the affiliate with the youthful business executive launching an audacious bid to ensure there is life in the game to a point that Zimbabwe can be able to assemble a national team.
“It’s fairly simple to get to a World Cup because the top two African countries will represent the continent and this World Cup takes place every two years.
“At the moment there are about 16 African countries playing Beach Soccer so, yes, our chances of getting there are high and we have plenty of talent in Zimbabwe.
“Even the members of the electoral committee had to postpone the elections after noting that the absence of the structures and that alone calls for a change in approach and a change in leadership.
“This is what I would want to end and I feel I have both the passion and the potential to make a difference,” Jonga said.
He also noted with concern the fact that Zimbabwe have only watched from a distance as CAF Beach Soccer Africa Cup of Nations tournament come and go.
Jonga’s sentiments on the state of Beach soccer in the country appear to have riled Musariri, forcing to make a desperate bid to disqualify his rival.