By Ricky Zililo
ZIFA are confident that they have “a strong” defence when they appear before a Cosafa disciplinary hearing facing charges of breach of contract for hosting this year’s tournament.
The Cosafa senior men’s competition is scheduled to run from May 25 to June 8, but the fate of this year’s tournament hangs in the balance following the gaffe.
Zifa officials are expected to travel to Johannesburg, South Africa, today to attend the hearing, hoping to avoid a hefty US$1 million fine or a ban from the regional body.
Zifa president Felton Kamambo believes they have built a strong defence, which he hopes Cosafa will consider.
“What happened is that Zifa said it’s prepared to host and was given hosting powers by Cosafa, but before you table anything to host, you have to get government approval or guarantee to host. So when we came in, taking over from the previous board, we then started to normalise the situation. Unfortunately, the government said it wasn’t prepared to give us the guarantee that’s why we turned down hosting of Cosafa,” said Kamambo.
“Our argument I think will be enough to defend our case to the extent that I don’t think we’re going to be punished.”
He took over the reins at Zifa from Philip Chiyangwa, the Cosafa president, last December and his board has to defend the “mess” created by his predecessor.
The Chiyangwa-led Zifa had committed itself to hosting the tournament that was last played on Zimbabwean soil in 2009.
The outcome of the hearing before Cosafa’s independent judicial body is expected to be handed down within 48 hours. The Chronicle