ZIFA yesterday made a U-turn on their decision to bar Highlanders from holding their scheduled elections early next month, with the soccer mother body giving thumbs up to Bosso to proceed with their elective assembly.
The association had torched a storm among the Bosso fraternity when in a statement issued by chief executive Joseph Mamutse on Thursday, ZIFA had ordered Highlanders to stop the polls.
ZIFA however, indicated that they had agreed to let the Bulawayo giants’ elections go ahead following a clear-the-air meeting yesterday between the association’s president Philip Chiyangwa and acting Premier Soccer League chairman Kenny Mubaiwa in the capital.
In a terse statement, ZIFA also briefly touched on suspended Bosso and PSL chairman Peter Dube, wishing the administrator well during his “retirement’’.
“The Zimbabwe Football Association advises the football fraternity and the nation at large that following a consultative meeting between the ZIFA president Dr Philip Chiyangwa and Premier Soccer League Emergency Committee Acting Chairman Mr Kenny Mubaiwa on Friday 5 January 2017, the position regarding the staging of the Highlanders 2018 elections has been clarified and the Association has authorised Highlanders FC to proceed with the elections as scheduled.
“ZIFA also wish Mr Peter Dube the all the best on his retirement and the Association will without doubt consider him for future football administration assignments,’’ read the statement.
The change in stance by ZIFA came as the Sport and Recreation Commission had also urged the association to reverse the ban on the Highlanders elections and noted that a suspension of the polls was tantamount to subverting the club’s constitution.
Acting Sports Commission director-general Joseph Muchechetere said the case between ZIFA and Peter Dube was administrative and does not impact on the staging of the club’s elections.
Muchechetere said the moment ZIFA accepted the membership of Highlanders and any other affiliate by way of registering their constitution, the association literally accepted that same constitution and recognised its statutes.
He said by virtue of its membership with ZIFA and by way of its registration, the Highlanders constitution should be respected as absolute.
“As the SRC we feel that ZIFA should acknowledge that Highlanders is its affiliate and has its own statutes that govern its running.
“The fact that Highlanders lodged its constitution with ZIFA upon affiliation means that ZIFA accepted that same constitution to be the affiliate’s governing document and its statutes to be absolute in as far as that affiliate is concerned,” said Muchechetere.
The Sports Commission director-general said it was in both ZIFA and football’s interest to be able to understand the precepts of such documents and the importance they hold for associations and their affiliates.
“All sporting codes must understand that all their operations due processes are prescribed in their constitutions. As such associations cannot summarily decide to subvert their affiliates’ guiding statues without consultation,” Muchechetere said.
Muchechetere said the ZIFA constitution should only supersede that of the association’s affiliates if the affiliate’s statutes are not clear about a specific issue or issues.
The Sports Commission’s boss said in such a scenario, the higher constitution which in this case is that of ZIFA, would reign supreme but insisted that Dube’s case could not be addressed at the same time with a constitutional matter.
“ZIFA were wrong to cite the suspension of Peter Dube as among its reasons to override the Highlanders constitution and call off the elections.
“Dube’s suspension is an administrative matter that should never have an effect on constitutional matters whatsoever,” Muchechetere said.
But with sanity having prevailed, fears of a bruising fight between the association and the club were averted yesterday. The Herald