Zifa boss defends election delay

Enock Muchinjo

ZIFA has defended the delay in restructuring its board and holding elections that were due this month, saying that the association was still alerting people to the proposed set up.
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In an interview last week, Zifa chairman Rafik Khan said his association had written to world football body Fifa to explain the delay.


Fifa is the architect of a roadmap which Zifa is supposed to abide by until new elections are held, to bring back normalcy to Zimbabwe football.


Khan, who reaffirmed his decision to retire at the end of his current tenure, said elections for a new chairman and board members will be held as soon as Zifa completes the ongoing nationwide exercise of “alerting people” to the structures and rules of local football as embodied in the new Zifa constitution.


The new constitution, which is part of the roadmap, was endorsed by the Sports and Recreation Commission last month.


“I won’t say when exactly the elections will be held,” said Khan. But I’m anxious to see the logical conclusion of the current exercise, including the roadmap. I want it over. As for my candidature, I have already made up my mind that I won’t stand. I have other issues to attend to. I have my family and my business and I need to take care of them,” Khan said.


Fifa has not responded to Zifa’s correspondence regarding the elections, but Khan said: “Fifa understands that this is not a one-day process. It’s a journey. You have to get the right structures in place. I do not see Fifa having a problem with it,” he said.


On the contentious suspension of the PSL management committee by the Zifa board, Khan said the association needed to protect its authority.


“PSL is an affiliate, and whatever an authority does, we are answerable to Fifa. It’s well within our rights to see that contract (signed between PSL and Econet) because if Fifa want reference to the contract details, they will come to us not PSL. If they have no hidden agenda, why are they afraid to release that contract to us. Our intention is not to interfere with the sponsor, but a sponsor cannot get involved in administration issues. As long as the sponsor gets his mileage, then his involvement ends there”, Khan said.


Despite the rough ride and wars his administration has been involved in, Khan believes he has achieved some goals.


“We are going to the Africa Cup of Nations for the second time and that’s a major accomplishment. And if this board had been left alone, we would be talking about going to the World Cup. But there have been too many fights. I can safely say we have achieved some things. No previous administration in Zimbabwean football has taken the national team to number 53 in the world. During my time, we have seen sponsors coming into football, in particular the national team.


We have made mistakes as administrators, but some good has been done. Life is not about only good things, there are some bad as well,” he said.

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