The Sports and Recreation Commission says football world governing body FIFA, is protecting undoubted sexual predators, fraudsters, and corrupt administrators following the FIFA ban on Zimbabwe from all football activities over government interference.
FIFA on Thursday announced that it had suspended the Zimbabwe Football Association over government interference in football administration after the SRC suspended the Felton Kamambo-led Zifa board on several allegations, chief among them failure to account for public funds. The FIFA Council said the lifting of the suspension of Zimbabwe would be subject to the repealing of decisions made by the SRC.
The SRC is however not moved by the ban and they will not act in accordance with the demands of FIFA, which include reinstating the suspended ZIFA board, reinstatement of ZIFA General Secretary Joseph Mamutse and withdrawal of the legal action against Kamambo and members of his administration.
“Pending any such compromise, the ZIFA Executive Committee and the General Secretary shall remain suspended. The various matters pending before the Courts in Zimbabwe shall continue as shall the criminal proceedings and all other actions focused on restructuring football in our country,” said Gerald Mlotshwa, the chairman of the Sports and Recreation Commission in a statement.
“Domestic football will continue in Zimbabwe. It will be supported fully by the SRC, as has been the demonstrable case thus far. ZIFA will return to the “FIFA Family” when it is in a condition fit to do so.”
Mlotshwa said FIFA had vindicated “sexual predators, fraudsters and corrupt administrators” at ZIFA and was “shielding” the administration.
“In essence, it appears that FIFA is constrained by the provisions of its own statutes to protect certain of the undoubted sexual predators, fraudsters and corrupt administrators at the helm of football administration in Zimbabwe.
All this in the name of shielding ZIFA from, to quote FIFA in its letter “… undue interference from a third party.”
The SRC chairman further accused FIFA of downplaying the several allegations being levelled against the ZIFA board and failing to institute any meaningful investigations into the alleged misconduct.
“The instances of fraud and corruption within the corridors of ZIFA have also been brought to the attention of FIFA, who have placed on record their extreme reluctance to involve themselves in remedying this deplorable state of affairs.
The SRC has a documented and demonstrable “zero tolerance policy towards corruption, sexual abuse and any other unethical conduct” in the administration of sport in Zimbabwe. It does not pay mere lip service to the same.
We, at the SRC, act decisively within the confines of the laws of Zimbabwe, in particular the Sports & Recreation Commission Act as well as the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act.”
He added that the Kamambo-led ZIFA board shall remain suspended and the various matters pending before the Courts in Zimbabwe pertaining to criminal proceedings against the suspended ZIFA board will continue.
Mlothswa also said domestic football will continue to be fully supported fully by the SRC and that ZIFA will return to the “FIFA Family” when it is in a condition fit to do so.