Every day, football is losing knowledgeable and experienced leaders on the basis that they have rebelled against the Zifa leadership or that they have broken such and such a rule.
insidesport with MICHAEL KARIATI
One football analyst jokingly said very soon the football hierarchy will be left only with the Zifa Board after everyone else has either been suspended or banned.
First it was Twine Phiri who was forced to leave the Premier Soccer League, with Zifa claiming he did not represent Caps United despite the Green Machine themselves insisting that Phiri was, as club vice president, their representative in the PSL Board of Governors.
Then came Edzai Kasinauyo who was suspended on match-fixing allegations – allegations which are still to be proved five months after they were raised.
Now it is Highlanders chief executive officer Ndumiso Gumede and Premier Soccer League chairman Peter Dube.
The question is: When will these suspensions stop? Will they ever come to an end in a system where one becomes an enemy of the leadership for questioning wrong decisions made.
According to Zifa president Phillip Chiyangwa, Dube was suspended for “interrupting formal proceedings during a Zifa Assembly meeting” and for “urging PSL representatives to denounce resolutions made”.
Firstly, if Dube was on the wrong side of the Zifa Assembly meeting, why wasn’t he thrown out of that meeting for being offside on that particular day?
Secondly, the resolution made and referred to was to relegate four teams from the PSL instead of the previously agreed two. As the league chairman, Dube had every right to talk to his assembly members so that they could speak with one voice.
As a matter of fact, the PSL as an assembly are opposed to the Zifa Assembly’s latest decision to relegate four teams from the top-flight football league.
Whatever Dube’s fault or mistakes could be, one can easily dictate an undercurrent in the manner in which the whole matter was handled.
Why are Zifa so obsessed with the PSL leadership? They forced Phiri out and now it is Dube. Do they want to take control of the PSL by imposing their “Yes Man” at the top?
There is another school of thought which is of the opinion that Zifa are doing the right thing as long as they are following their constitution and their laid-down rules.
What, however, is worrying is the fact that most of the suspensions have come after the cardinal rule of a disciplinary hearing has not been followed.
The major stakeholders of the game of football are the fans. What they want is to see the game being played so that they enjoy the entertainment value of what they pay for.
This means Zifa should focus more on resolving issues like the relegation and promotion as this has the potential of affecting the start of the 2017 soccer programme.
There are also other important issues like financial guarantees for the Warriors’ participation at the Africa Cup of Nations, as well as finding solutions to the $7 million debt that is preventing the association from operating efficiently.
All these need special attention instead of the infighting that has become the order of the day.
All the hard work that Zifa has been doing to prepare the Warriors for the Nations Cup finals has been overshadowed by the suspensions and in particular that of Dube.
There are better ways for the football leadership to solve their problems than the child’s play of bans and suspensions every day.
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