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Marshall Munetsi bemoans standoff between Zimbabwe’s SRC and FIFA

Warriors defensive midfielder Marshall Munetsi has continued to bemoan Zimbabwe’s suspension by the world football governing body, FIFA, this time saying it “is having that negative social-economic impact on the country.”

Zimbabwe was suspended by FIFA from participating in any international football activities early last year (2022) due to “third party interference” a reference to government meddling via the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC).

The France-based midfielder believes the situation is impacting the country’s socio-economic well being.

Munetsi who is making a passionate plea to all relevant football authorities in Zimbabwe to end the impasse that has seen the country remain suspended by FIFA, revealed this to the influential FIFPRO Global Player Council (GPC).

FIFPRO, is a platform for active players with international experience, which ensure viewpoints from men’s and women’s football and different leagues from around the world are heard.

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Quoted by the organisation on its website, the Zimbabwean international said:

“I last played for the national team in late 2021. The Sports and Recreation Commission Zimbabwe (SRC) interfered with the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA), which is something prohibited by FIFA, and the men’s, women’s and junior national team sides were subsequently suspended from international football.

“It means the men’s senior side couldn’t take part in the latest Africa Cup of Nations qualifying – I think most probably we won’t be able to take part in World Cup qualification either – and it also prevents Zimbabwean clubs from competing in the CAF Champions League.

“So many Zimbabwean players are being denied a great opportunity here; so many players in their prime being unable to play on the continental and international stage. But most importantly, Zimbabwe’s suspension is having a negative social-economic effect on the country.

“I feel the association should have done better when it came to discussing with FIFA and finding a possible solution not to affect the young generation that is there – because the talent in Zimbabwe is there. It has been seen by players that have moved to Europe and also by me playing here in France.”

He added: “This month (March), we could have been playing World Cup semi-finalists Morocco – the only African team to ever make the final four on the global stage – and it would have been a celebration.

“Their first competitive game on the back of that historic World Cup run would have been against Zimbabwe. The country has been denied what would have been such a special occasion.

“So, this stand-off between the SRC and association, which caused the national team to be suspended by FIFA, is having that negative social-economic impact on the country.

“Likewise, if Mo Salah was coming to Zimbabwe with Egypt, the stadium is going be full. People are going to buy tickets; the hotels are going to be booked up. Same applies if Sadio Mane and Senegal were coming to town,” said Munetsi who was elected as a member of the FIFPRO in January.