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I’m asking for your trust: Kirsty Coventry pleads with Zim football community

The Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Kirsty Coventry has pleaded with the county’s football community to place its ‘trust on her’ saying she is ‘tirelessly’ working hard to help Zimbabwe earn back its FIFA recognition.

This comes after Zimbabwe were slapped with a suspension by the world football governing body in February owing to alleged government interference.

But as part of the conditions to lift the ban, FIFA instructed the government arm the SRC to reinstate Felton Kamambo and his board members and also to withdraw the court cases filed against them.

Felton Kamambo
Felton Kamambo

Kamambo and his board members were suspended by the SRC in November last year facing several allegations including maladministration, abuse of the office as well as sexual harassment of female referees.

However, the SRC with the backing from the sports minister, Coventry have defiantly ignored the FIFA demands.

This means the world football governing body will not lift the suspension anytime soon, leaving Zimbabwe unable to participate in any international competitions.

But commenting on the issue, Coventry assured Zimbabweans she is working on coming up with solutions that will see Zimbabwe play international football once again.

“Please, have faith and trust that many things are happening but for now I can’t really tell you the information at this time,” she said while addressing the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on SPORTS, Arts and Culture, on the status of the Zimbabwean football.

“You need to understand that there’s a lot happening in the background, albeit, it is unfortunate I can’t be forthcoming with everything that’s happening in the background, my plea is that you should trust me, I’m asking for your trust.”

Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) chairman Gerald Mlotshwa is also President Emmerson Mnangagwa's son in law
Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) chairman Gerald Mlotshwa is also President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s son in law

She added: “My biggest goal is to protect the interest of athletes because I was also an athlete and I understand what they’re going through which is not okay.

“They are things that are happening, I want to promise the committee that, at the end of the day, I’m not interested in politics or the flexing of muscles. I don’t want my athletes to miss out on any games because they will miss opportunities on the table.

“I want to tell you I’m doing everything in my power to make sure there is as the Honourable Member said, a chance for us coming together to a mutual agreement of a win-win situation.

“My plea is to let you know that there are many things happening but please know that there will be a resolution in the next coming months that will not have a negative impact on our soccer, internationally or continentally.”

But although Zimbabwe are suspended, their senior national team the Warriors were included in the AFCON 2023 qualifiers draw set to take place in Johannesburg, South Africa next week Tuesday.

The Warriors are in Pot 3 along with other nations including Togo, Malawi, Niger and Angola. Nehanda Radio