Zimbabwe suspends football association board

Zimbabwe's Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) on Tuesday suspended the board of the country's football association over allegations of “gross…

Zimbabwe’s Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) on Tuesday suspended the board of the country’s football association over allegations of “gross incompetency”.In a move likely to put the Harare authorities on collision course with FIFA over state interference in the running of football associations, the SRC suspended the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) board led by chairman Felton Kamambo. 

“This decision has been considered following several incidents of gross incompetence on the part of ZIFA contrary to the national interest,” SRC chairman Gerald Mlotshwa told journalists in Harare.

Among other reasons given for the suspension were allegations of fraud by ZIFA board members and alleged sexual harassment of female referees by technical staff.

Mlotshwa was unfazed about the prospect of the imposition of sanctions by FIFA, saying the SRC is “prepared in many respects for whatever might happen”.

“If that happens, we will always look at it being a short-term measure as far as FIFA is concerned and we need that.”

He said Zimbabwe football needs “this opportunity to fix itself”.

“If that takes us a year, takes us two years and we are out of international football, I think that it’s fine and everyone accepts that,” Mlotshwa said.

The move is expected to see Zimbabwe missing the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations finals set for Cameroon in January 2022. 

The suspension of the FIFA board comes days after the Zimbabwe Warriors finished bottom of Group G of the 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign following a 1-1 home draw against Ethiopia on Sunday.

The draw was the final straw for a team that has managed only one win out of 14 matches played this year.