Fifa ban: SRC demands Kamambo apology

Felton Kamambo

THE Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) believes recalled Zifa executive committee members and the suspended general secretary Joseph Mamutse owe an apology to Zimbabwe for failing to formally advise Fifa that they no longer hold office.

Last Friday marked a year since Zimbabwe was suspended from the Fifa football family for third party interference in the running of the affairs of Zifa after its executive was suspended by the SRC on November 26 2021.

Board members Felton Kamambo who was the president, Philemon Machana and Brighton Malandule were ousted at an extraordinary congress in April last year.

Football fans have been united in clamouring for the SRC to reinstate Kamambo as was demanded by Fifa when it suspended the country’s membership so that the world football body can lift the ban.

But the SRC says they are no longer in any position to legally reinstate Kamambo since he was recalled by the Zifa congress and the former Zifa boss is supposed to be patriotic enough to communicate the development to Fifa.

“It is a fact that Mr Felton Kamambo is no longer the Zifa president, having been recalled by his own congress. It follows, logically, that the SRC is not able to reinstate him to that position. Any such attempt would, ironically, be blatantly unlawful in terms of Zifa’s current constitution as well as the Sports and Recreation Commission Act,” SRC board chairman Gerald Mlothswa said.

“It is most regrettable that certain legislators continue to demand that the SRC ignore the resolutions of the Zifa congress, violate Zifa’s constitution, and, incredibly, its own Act, a product of the Parliament of Zimbabwe, in reinstating Mr Kamambo.

“There is therefore no legal basis upon which Zifa or indeed the SRC can request Messrs. Kamambo and Mamutse to correspond with Fifa, nor can the latter organization, in light of its views on the outcome of the EGM of April, 2022, demand the same of those persons.

“If anything, it is perhaps the correct, if not patriotic thing to do, for these recalled Zifa executive committee members and the suspended general secretary, to formally advise Fifa that they no longer hold office. They owe this nation an apology,” Mlotshwa added.

The SRC insists it has already complied with most of the demands from Fifa for the lifting of the country’s suspension except those that are beyond them such as lifting the suspension on the Zifa board and that of former general secretary Mamutse.

It also highlighted that the mandate of the Zifa restructuring committee came to an end in December last year.

However, the SRC said it cannot withdraw its legal complaint against Kamambo and company since the SRC Act is subservient to the country’s constitution.

Mamutse’s suspension was lifted on May 24, 2022 but he was subsequently suspended by Zifa for failing to report for work while that of the Zifa executive committee was lifted on June 8, 2022.

The local sports regulator revealed that Fifa was advised of the outcome of the Zifa extraordinary congress of April 24, 2022, and of SRC’s intentions and they stated that they would not interfere with the resolutions of congress so long as the EGM had been held in accordance with Zifa’s constitution.

Mlothswa also said the SRC was ready to jointly approach Fifa once Zifa finished deliberating on the recommendations of the restructuring committee to come up with a roadmap.

“It is a matter of public record that the SRC awaits Zifa’s position and agreement on the recommendations put forward to it. Only Zifa can accept and implement those recommendations: the SRC cannot force those recommendations upon Zifa.

“Upon their possible acceptance and consequent agreement with the commission (including deadlines, milestones and other deliverables) the parties will jointly approach Fifa for endorsement of the same. This document, ‘The Roadmap’, has been requested by Fifa.

“It is this Roadmap that will determine the future of football and football administration in Zimbabwe. For those agitating for a lifting of Zimbabwe’s temporary suspension of membership by Fifa, the Roadmap is the proverbial Key to the Highway.

“It is the production of the Roadmap that we all should be collectively agitating for and demanding from Zifa as we head into the final month of the first quarter of 2023,” he said.

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