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ZIFA Re-admission Bid Hits Snag

In a major setback on Zimbabwe’s bid to return to international football following a FIFA ban earlier this year, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has refused to recognize the Gift Banda left ZIFA executive board.

In February this year, FIFA banned Zimbabwe from participating in international tournaments citing government interference in the running of local football at 53 Livingstone Avenue. This followed the Sports and Recreation Commission’s decision to suspend Felton Kamambo led ZIFA board citing gross incompetence.

In a bid to convince FIFA to lift the ban, SRC later reinstated some of the ZIFA executive members including Farai Jere, Barbara Chikosi and Sugar Chagonda who convened an Extra-ordinary General Meeting (EGM) which appointed Banda as the interim president.

CAF in its letter, addressed to ZIFA secretary general Joseph Mamutse, alluded to FIFA demands saying the reinstatement of Felton Kamabo As ZIFA President is the way out of the current ban.

“The suspension will only be lifted if; the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) repeals the decision of 26 November 2020 suspending the ZIFA General Secretary, SRC repeals the SRC decision of 16 November 2021 suspending the ZIFA Board, SRC repeals the SRC decision of 17 December 2021 setting up the restructuring committee, 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 SRC withdraws the court case against the ZIFA President, three other ZIFA Board members and the General Secretary for allegedly misusing ZIFA’s letterheads,” CAF letter to ZIFA reads.

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The regional body further barred ZIFA from using FIFA and CAF funds systematically deposited into ZIFA accounts.

“…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.”

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