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CAF backs FIFA ban, instructs ZIFA to stop using deposited funds

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has rejected an appeal made by the new ZIFA board led by Acting President Gift Banda to help Zimbabwe’s ban by FIFA get lifted.

Banda and company wrote a letter in June to CAF secretary general Veron Mosengo- Omba seeking to begin negotiations that will see Zimbabwe regain FIFA recognition.

In February, Zimbabwe got slapped with a ban by the world football governing body, losing all its membership with FIFA due to third part interference in running the game.

And to lift the ban, FIFA instructed ZIFA to reinstate Felton Kamambo and his board who were suspended by the government arm the SRC in November last year due to several allegations including corruption.

Felton Kamambo
Felton Kamambo

As a result, Mosengo-Omba replied to the new ZIFA board in a letter dated 20 July, 2022 citing nothing new will be done until the suspended Kamambo-led ZIFA board has been reinstated by the SRC according to the initial demands instructed by FIFA.

“We acknowledge receipt of your letter dated 14 June 2022.

“We refer to the FIFA Council decision dated 24 February 2022 suspending ZIFA on the basis of Article 14 paragraphs 1 i) and 3 of the FIFA Statutes as well as Article 16 paragraph 1, of the FIFA Statutes as ratified by the FIFA Congress meeting of 31 March 2022 in Doha, Qatar.

“The above decision is clear and unequivocal that the suspension will only be lifted if: (i) The Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) repeals the decision of 26 November 2020 suspending the ZIFA General Secretary

(ii) SRC repeals the SRC decision of 16 November 2021 suspending the ZIFA Board

(iii) SRC repeals the SRC decision of 17 December 2021 setting up the restructuring committee

(iv) FIFA receives confirmation from ZIFA and its management, led by President Felton Kamambo and General Secretary Joseph Mamutse, that ZIFA and its premises are once more under their full and unconditional control; and

(v) SRC withdraws the court case against the ZIFA President, three other ZIFA Board members and the General Secretary for allegedly misusing ZIFA’s letterheads
However, CAF’s attention has since been drawn to a number of developments, inter alia:

(i) An Extraordinary General Assembly meeting convened on 23 April 2022 during which a decision was apparently taken to revoke the mandate of three Executive Committee members including the President Mr. Kamambo and two others Mr. Malandule and Mr. Machana.

(ii) A letter dated 24 May 2022 from the SRC to ZIFA lifting its suspension of ZIFA’s Secretary General but subjecting the same to certain unspecified conditions.

(iii) A letter dated 8 June 2022 from SRC lifting the suspensions of three Executive Committee members, Mrs. Barbara Chikosi and Messrs. Farai Jere and Sugar Chagonda whilst confirming that BDO Chartered Accountants have commenced their forensic audit into the financial and operational affairs of ZIFA; and

(iv) That with the assistance of the SRC, a committee claiming to be the bona fide ZIFA Executive Committee has made themselves signatories to ZIFA’s bank accounts and is subsequently transacting the proceeds deposited by CAF and FIFA.

Acting ZIFA president Gift Banda seen here with former ZIFA boss Phillip Chiyangwa (Picture via Libertino)
Acting ZIFA president Gift Banda seen here with former ZIFA boss Phillip Chiyangwa (Picture via Libertino)

We would like to inform you as follows:

1. The SRC’s letters dated 24 May and 8 June 2022 contravene Article 7 paragraph 1(a) and (g) of the CAF Statutes which respectively state as follows:

“ARTICLE 7

MEMBERS’ OBLIGATIONS

Members of CAF shall have the following obligations:

a) To respect, and ensure that their own members respect, at all times unreservedly the principles of ethics and fair play enacted by CAF and FIFA, the principles of integrity and sportsmanship as well as the Statutes, regulations, decisions and directives of CAF and FIFA.

g) To manage their affairs independently and free of intrusions and interferences of any kind by any person or body”

2. None of the conditions stated in the FIFA Council decision dated 24 February 2022 as ratified by the FIFA Congress on 31 March 2022 has been fully and unconditionally met.

3. Pursuant to Article 16 paragraph 3 of the FIFA Statutes, “A suspended member association may not exercise any of its membership rights.”, such rights being defined in Article 13 of the FIFA Statutes.

Consequently, CAF hereby directs ZIFA to immediately cease using and accessing any funds deposited by FIFA or CAF in the ZIFA accounts.

Please note that a breach of this directive will be regarded as a violation of the FIFA Council decision dated 24 February 2022 as ratified by the FIFA Congress on 31 March 2022 and may subject ZIFA or the officials involved to disciplinary sanctions.

CAF will continue to monitor the developments in Zimbabwean football.”

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