Warriors team manager confident Kirsty Coventry will get FIFA ban lifted
National teams General Manager Wellington Mpandare has said he is confident that the Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Kirsty Coventry will help Zimbabwe get its suspension lifted by the world football governing body, FIFA.
Mpandare’s remarks comes after Coventry last week pleaded with the country’s football community to place its ‘trust on her’ because she is working hard to help Zimbabwe earn back its FIFA recognition in order to play international competitions once again.
Zimbabwe was suspended by FIFA in February due to government interference, although the continental football governing body CAF included them in the 2023 AFCON qualifiers.
The Warriors were drawn in Group K alongside Bafana Bafana, Morocco and Liberia in a draw held in Johannesburg, South Africa, but will participate in the qualifiers only if they meet the FIFA demands.
Some of the demands include the reinstatement of the Felton Kamambo led board which was suspended by the government arm the SRC last year in November.
The suspended Kamambo board are facing several allegations including maladministration, and sexual harassment of female referees among others.
However, addressing the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Sports, Arts and Culture last Thursday, the former Olympic champion, Coventry promised that the Zimbabwean football situation will be resolved sooner than expected.
Then in an interview with Soccer24, Mpandare concurred with the former Olympic swimmer, in fact, he believes the minister of sports will stand by her word.
He said: “We have so much faith in what the minister said when she met the portfolio committee. She doesn’t want the athletes to miss any tournament. We have faith that there will be a solution to the impasse.”
“The players are 100% positive they will participate (in the AFCON qualifiers), CAF raised the stakes when they included us in the draw. We can’t afford to fail ourselves as a nation,” he added.
The qualifiers for the AFCON competition to be hosted in Ivory Coast next year June are slated for late next month (May).
Zimbabwe and Kenya who are also on suspension were instructed by FIFA to put their houses in order two before the games begin.