It never rains for Chingoka

Ndamu Sandu

THE storm is not over for Paul Chingoka. A week after being suspended from the Tennis Zimbabwe (TZ) board for financial irregularities, he faces a stern test in his bid for re-election to the Int

ernational Tennis Federation (ITF) board as four other candidates have entered the fray for Africa’s sole seat on the international tennis body.


The election for ITF board members takes place at its Annual General Meeting in Prague, Czech Republic, from June 15-17.


Jo Garnham, personal assistant to ITF executive vice president Juan Margets, said the AGM will see the election of 12 members to drive the international tennis body untill 2007.


African candidates challenging Chingoka are Mohamed Bouabdallah (Algeria), Ismail El Shafei (Egypt), Johann Koorts (South Africa) and Chuka Momah (Nigeria).


Koorts is president of the South African Tennis Association (Sata) and poses a threat to Chingoka. He was re-elected as president of the tennis body in February.


Bouabdallah and El Shafei are also in with a chance though there are fears that they might split the vote in the Arab world.


El Shafei is the only Egyptian player to feature in the top 20 in the ATP history. He was Wimbledon Junior champion in 1964. Momah banks on the support from the West African nations.


IndependentSport can reveal that while Chingoka’s rivals for the throne had been endorsed by their associations, his endorsement will be decided at a TZ board meeting next month.


TZ press and liaison Tanya Chinamo said this week the May 14 board meeting will come up with a candidate the tennis body will support in Prague.


Chinamo could not be drawn on the suitability of the candidate saying the matter is up for discussion at the board meeting.


An honorary life president of TZ, Chingoka was suspended together with TZ treasurer Bash Mahomed last week to allow investigations into the alleged misappropriation of tennis funds.


The Sports and Recreation Commission recommended the probe into the duo.


Chinamo said TZ was working round the clock to ensure the probe into Chingoka and Mahomed was carried out.


He said TZ was now scouting for a reputable audit firm that is cost effective and executes the task diligently.


Chingoka left TZ last year after he was elected president of the Zimbabwe Olympic Committee (ZOC).


Last week’s ZOC annual general meeting retained Chingoka as president but recommended his duties be curtailed until investigations into financial mismanagement are complete.


Chingoka was elected on the ITF board in 2003.

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