AS the Moses Chunga saga rages on, Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) chairman Rafik Khan was yesterday sticking to his guns ahead of a Zifa board meeting scheduled for today.
Speaking to IndependentSport yesterday, Khan said Zifa would not be forced into reinstating the sacked Warriors assistant coach by a purported “public outcry”.
Khan said although the Chunga issue will be tabled at today’s meeting, the agenda was largely to discuss policy matters and national team preparations.
Khan, who accused the media of evading the real question of Chunga’s dismissal, claimed that supporters are being used to sway public opinion.
“Supporters have no role to play in this matter. They are the owners of the game, yes, but they should not interfere in the administration of the game at any level. Zifa will never make any resolutions on the basis of what some sections of our supporters say through phone offices,” said Khan, in apparent reference to the Zimbabwe National Soccer Supporters Association (ZNSSA).
The ZNSSA is leading a campaign to force Zifa to reinstate Chunga, fired last week for allegedly making “reckless and inciting” statements against the football association in the media.
“We do not acknowledge that association. They are not one of our affiliates. I am not even sure if they are properly constituted,” said Khan.
“How does an association come to have a life president that the national association does not even have? They say they want to organise demonstrations, but who are they? Where do they come from? What are their constituencies?”
The Zifa boss said although Chunga’s sacking was still before the board, he believes the mother body had not misfired in parting ways with the former Dynamos and national team legendary player.
“It hurts me that some people who claim to have Zimbabwean football at heart have avoided looking at the core issue on this matter. This is not about Khan or Zifa, it’s about simple procedure that was set by the association. People must take an objective view and analyse why this happened,” Khan said.
Khan said Warriors coach Charles Mhlauri will only attend today’s meeting to discuss Chunga’s case. Khan said Zifa will hear Mhlauri’s side regarding Chunga for the first time today, saying the Caps United and national team mentor has not yet communicated his views to the association.
Despite his seemingly hardline stance, Khan said he is prepared for any decision the Zifa board makes about Chunga.
“I believe in my board. Whatever the board says carries the day,” he said.
Meanwhile, Khan gave a signal that his tenure at 53 Livingstone Avenue might end sooner than expected. Khan re-affirmed that he would not seek re-election when polls are held “anytime soon”.
The Zifa elections will be conducted on completion of a roadmap laid last year by world football governing body Fifa to bring back normalcy to local football. Fifa gave July as the deadline for the conclusion of the roadmap. The elections are part of the roadmap.
“As soon as the roadmap is achieved, we will have the elections. The sooner the roadmap is over, the better. I’ve tried my best during my tenure, and results are there for everyone to see,” Khan claimed.