South Africa-based businessman Trevor Carelse-Juul has ruled himself out of the Zifa elections set for later this year, but said he was in full support of the need for change at the helm of the local football mother body.
BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
Caresle-Juul’s decision comes after Fifa last week ordered Zifa to hold fresh elections “as soon as possible in accordance with the Zifa statutes and regulations”.
“I’ve made it clear previously and continue to make it clear that I’m not interested at all in standing for the Zifa presidency, but I want to see things go right,” he told Standardsport in an interview yesterday.
“At the end of the day, no one has an exclusive right to any position. Anyone is allowed to challenge and we must challenge.
“Do we believe people must challenge this group? Yes, absolutely, and we hope that a good group will come forward. Someone has to stand up and I can assure you, it’s not me. I’m not interested, but I’m interested in seeing the correct process take place.
“If we look at what has been happening over the last two years, I don’t know who is going to stand up and tell us honestly that it has been a fantastic two years. There’s just been too much fighting and the only way you can develop football is by uniting.”
Caresle-Juul was part of a group of former Zifa presidents who were accused of attempting to seize control of the association after successfully lobbying Fifa to order fresh elections to be held this year.
The group of former Zifa leaders — which also included Vincent Pamire, Rafik Khan, Cuthbert Dube and Leo Mugabe — wrote to Fifa secretary-general Fatma Samoura last month arguing that the Philip Chiyangwa-led executive’s term of office had expired on March 29.
Chiyangwa maintained that he still had two more years in office, going to the extent of “banning” some of the former Zifa leaders for their action, but they were vindicated after Fifa ordered the local football controlling body to hold elections as soon as possible.
Caresle-Juul dismissed the assumption by the outgoing excecutive that the former Zifa presidents’ call for fresh elections was meant to destabilise the association with the aim of taking over power.
“Our objective was that the constitution has to be followed and this is a victory for constitutionalism and for due process in that Fifa has turned out and said yes we are in agreement. That’s all we asked for, we were not trying to throw anyone out or to take over, we were just saying listen there is a process that is supposed to take place,” Caresle-Juul said.
“Clearly, the constitution had been violated and needed to be followed. we stood up and said ‘listen, there’s supposed to be elections and something has to be done’. The former presidents of Zifa got together and said ‘we’re going to write to Fifa and spell out the constitution’.
“Fifa agreed and it forced this group to accept that fact because remember all along they were saying no to elections.
“We were surprised to hear that we had been banned and our crime was that we stood up and said we are supposed to go for elections. These people need to get over the belief that they can just ban anyone as they please.
“There is a process that has to be followed. if someone has done something wrong he or she has to be brought before a disciplinary committee to answer whatever allegations there may be. And what were the allegations against us? that we stood up to say that this executive is out of office and they are supposed to be elections, which was endorsed by Fifa?”
The businessman also questioned Fifa’s decision to allow the Chiyangwa-led excecutive to remain in office until the elections, saying it was flawed as the current composition of the board was illegal.
“What Fifa haven’t dealt with is that, in actual fact, the current leadership doesn’t constitute an excecutive because there are only three members of the body. So, effectively the secretariat is supposed to step in and take its place,” he said.
“If you don’t do that you’re going to have an unfair election process, which could be challenged because the aggrieved party is going to say hold on, these people who were running the elections were not supposed to be there because they don’t constitute an excecutive according to the constitution.”
Chiyangwa has been running the association with his deputy Omega Sibanda and board member finance Philimon Machana, which is short of the required quorum following the resignation of two executive members Felton Kamambo and Piraishe Mabhena on March 29, and the subsequent failure to co-opt two more members to the board.