World football governing body FIFA has threatened to ban Zimbabwe from participating in its activities if the decision to disband the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) is not reversed by January 3, 2022.
The Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) disbanded the ZIFA executive committee on a litany of allegations that include mismanagement and lack of accountability of public funds.
The SRC appointed a nine member restructuring committee that would run the affairs of the association until December 2022.
In a statement on Tuesday, Chief Member Associations Officer Kenny Jean-Marie said the Sports and Recreation Commission decision was against FIFA rules.
“In this context, we consider that the aforementioned decisions by the SRC to suspend all members of the ZIFA executive committee based on mere allegations without proof of a final and binding ruling, and subsequently to appoint a “restructuring committee” in lieu of the ZIFA executive committee would appear to be clearly contrary to the above statutory principles.
“As a consequence, should such decisions be considered by FIFA to constitute undue third-party interference in the internal affairs of ZIFA, the appropriate sanctions may have to be imposed on ZIFA by the competent FIFA body. In such a case, all of Zimbabwean football would suffer the consequences, especially on the eve of the AFCON 2021,” said Jean-Marie.
He added “In addition, we would like to highlight that it is up to FIFA alone – on the basis of serious and well-founded information as well as under exceptional circumstances – to remove executive bodies of member associations and appoint normalisation committees (cf. art. 8 par. 2 of FIFA Statutes).
“Therefore, we kindly ask you to inform the SRC that in the event its decisions to suspend the ZIFA executive committee members and to appoint a “restructuring committee” instead are not reversed before 3 January 2022 at the latest, we would have no other choice but to submit the present matter to the Bureau of FIFA Council for consideration and decision.
“Without prejudice to the above, we would like to highlight that FIFA is committed to investigating the aforesaid allegations brought forward by the SRC as soon as the latter has shared with our independent judicial bodies all relevant documentation brought before ordinary courts in Zimbabwe and for which we understand no decision has been taken by these courts to date.”