THE roadmap set by world football governing body Fifa to expedite normalcy to local football might get bumpy amid allegations the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) has been excluding key st
akeholders in its constitution amendment exercise which has already reached an advanced stage.
A meeting has been set for Sunday in Harare where Zifa will brief stakeholders on the proposed amendments to the existing constitution.
Sources within the re-instated Zifa Council, which is supposed to be the supreme decision-making body in local football, have rapped the Rafik Khan-led Zifa board which is accused of not asking the councillors to contribute to the exercise. The drafting of the new Zifa constitution should be complete by mid-year.
“We have totally been ignored as if we do not exist,” charged one of the retained councillors. When we were re-instated in January, we thought that Zifa was sincere but now we realise that they only did that to escape the scrutiny of Fifa.”
The Zifa board’s action is likely to anger Fifa, who in January sanctioned the re-instatement of the Zifa Council that had been suspended by the government-run Sports and Recreation Commission.
A Fifa delegation headed by Council of Southern African Football Associations president Ishmael Bhamjee came to Zimbabwe in January and laid procedures which Zifa was supposed follow in putting its house in order.
The Fifa roadmap also recommended that Zifa engage in dialogue with seven suspended Zifa Council members who were not part of the re-instated Zifa Council, in an effort to reconcile the two sides. Spokesman for the suspended councillors, Leonard Nkala, told IndependentSport that the Zifa board had not approached them for dialogue since the Fifa delegation left the country.
“It’s a cause for concern. We are not involved whatsoever in this constitution business. Our suspicion is that they want to exclude some sections of the football fraternity and only introduce them when the exercise has already been completed,” Nkala said.
Last week the suspended councillors wrote to Khan, in a letter also copied to Fifa, emphasising the need for dialogue with his administration. Khan responded to the councillors saying his board was still considering entering into talks with them.
“Clearly the Zifa board is evading certain provisions of the May 20003 constitution which is currently in effect. If it continues like this, Fifa will have to see it for themselves that what they ordered to be done is not being implemented,” said Nkala.
However, Premier Soccer League chairman Tendai Madzorere —who is member of the Zifa board –– said he was satisfied by the proceedings of the amendment exercise. Madzorere said his association has already issued clubs with copies of the draft constitution, and was expecting them to submit their recommendations in time for the weekend meeting.
“The PSL is going to let clubs decide for themselves what they need to see in the constitution. It’s their right to propose what they feel and we will respect that,” said Madzorere.
No comment could be obtained from both Zifa chairman Khan or his chief executive officer Jonathan Mashingaidze.