Sports Minister Kirsty Coventry has sparked controversy following her recent remarks in which she told parliamentarians that her ministry will not request for FIFA to lift its ban on Zimbabwe’s football.
FIFA banned Zimbabwe from international football after the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) removed Felton Kamambo and the entire executive of the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) over allegations of mismanagement, corruption, and sexual misconduct towards female match officials.
Despite the ban having adverse effects on Zimbabwe’s football players and supporters, Coventry stood her ground that her ministry will not reinstate the ZIFA executive.
“We accepted that (ban), we have never asked them to lift, we don’t want them to lift until we have cleared and cleaned up ourselves. We are not doing as other members may ‘disservice’ disservice to who?…” she said to massive uproar from parliamentarians.
Her statements have since attracted backlash from football lovers on social media, with one section suggesting that the minister has little to no empathy for football players and supporters as she is a swimmer and a well-decorated one.
“I wonder if she would have reacted the same way if it was the World Aquatics body that banned Zimbabwe. She clearly has no idea how much Zimbabweans love soccer,” twitter user BabaKaThando said.
Though a different section saw her submissions valid.
“@KirstyCoventry may have genuine plans for football which is in all honesty crying out loud for able leadership but the process has been agonisingly slow and opaque. That parliamentary delivery makes it worse. The hope the nation had in you is sadly dwindling minister” Julius Chakupewa said.
FIFA policy prohibits any form of government involvement in football on a national basis, which Zimbabwe violated when SRC suspended the ZIFA board.
Zion Train / March 30, 2023
She is the worst minister of sports ever. During her run she has driven soccer into the ground, responsible for Takemoney’s loss and poor parking along N Mandela avenue… her offices