Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Zifa lift Chiyangwa, Omega Sibanda ban

By Tadious Manyepo

ZIFA have lifted the suspension they imposed on former president Philip Chiyangwa and his deputy, Omega Sibanda, as part of the association’s efforts to end the friction in domestic football.

Zifa president Philip Chiyangwa, left, stresses a point during a press conference while his deputy Omega Sibanda looks on
Then Zifa president Philip Chiyangwa, left, stresses a point during a press conference while his then deputy Omega Sibanda looks on

The sport has been reeling from endless boardroom battles since last month which have taken centre stage at the expense of development.

The duo were banned by Zifa from holding any portfolios in domestic football with Chiyangwa being accused of allegedly influencing the Warriors in their nightmarish AFCON campaign in Egypt last year.

Sibanda was also accused of interfering in the mother-body’s matters.

However, Zifa boss, Felton Kamambo, announced yesterday that the suspension of the duo had been lifted.

“We don’t want to concentrate on these issues,’’ said Kamambo. “We want to concentrate on football matters.

“I am the Zifa president and I stated it in my manifesto, when I was angling for the position, that I needed to unite everyone, for the sake of football.

“So, I am just following up on that and, this year, football should do the talking.”

Kamambo said Fifa have agreed to settle the association’s legacy debts by June in what would be a tremendous success story for the current board.

The country’s football mother body is reeling from a biting US$9 million debt which has seen their property being attached by creditors of late.

Zifa were also barred from attending the Cosafa annual meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa, last weekend as they also owe the regional body significant amounts in subscription fees.

“We were supposed to get funding from Fifa for some projects but, as Zifa, we made a decision last year not to apply for the funds,’’ said Kamambo.

“If ever we were to apply, obviously, there were some creditors who were definitely going to garnish the funds.

“So, since it was money for the projects, we had to make a wise decision. It is all Zifa money, so we made an application to Fifa saying we want to apply for the funds but we also need to settle the legacy debts.”

Kamambo said members of the Zifa board, who were denied entry into the Cosafa meeting, took time to meet with Fifa representatives in South Africa where the deal was struck.

“Initially, Fifa refused but eventually the projects committee approved it and we were invited to South Africa where we met Fifa and mapped the way forward,’’ said Kamambo.

“We are currently in the process of engaging an advocate for his opinion and some auditors who can verify the actual debts and those who are owed.

“Once that is done, of which we expect to have them by tomorrow (today), once we do that, we make a press statement advising creditors to approach the appointed auditors.”

He said the debts would be paid by June as per Fifa’s promise.

“We are targeting that at the next Fifa projects meeting, we will also be on the agenda.

“By June we should have paid up all the legacy debts.’’ The Herald