‘I’ll only quit if I fail after a year’ – Khan

IndependentSport View –Itai Dzamara

LAST week I dwelt on the troubled Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) with the focus on chairman Rafiq Khan.



Helvetica, sans-serif”>To be or not to be, I wrote last week as being the situation that Khan finds himself in. Below is his response which provides some pertinent revelations…


“I took over the leadership at Zifa with things in a total mess. It had taken more than five years of a downward trend and the problems had been accumulating.


“It is unfair to expect me to solve such problems in the four months I have been in office. However, I am glad to say that I took off well. Things are moving and the results will start showing in the near future. The aim is to restore credibility and confidence at Zifa in order to attract sponsorship and develop the national game.


“On the issue of the deal with the Warriors Trust, I must make it clear that we are using a non-confrontational approach in order to avoid worsening the situation.


“I have held meetings with members of the Warriors Trust and they have agreed to cancel the deal. I am expecting their letter to confirm the cancellation before the end of this week.


“We will announce the establishment of another trust that we have been working on. It will have an international partner and precisely perform the role that the current trust was expected to.


“The Warriors Trust signed the deal with L-Sporto and that means the day we cancel the agreement with the trust, L-Sporto will also be out of the arrangement.


“The new trust will cover everything including securing kits for our national teams and arranging trips.


“We will soon announce the appointment of a foreign technical adviser to the Warriors. Sunday Marimo has agreed to work with anyone as long as the person has the qualifications and knowledge. The issue of assistant coaches is also being deliberated on and we will be with a position soon.


“It is true the financial status at Zifa had become terrible. Kudenga & Associates are working on Zifa accounts up to 2002 and will present the report at our council meeting on May 15. After that, they will work on 2003 and up to date.


“We are anxiously waiting for the report by the auditors which should help us to chart the way forward. Our approach is not to find blame on anyone but put the house in order. However, whoever is found by auditors to have abused funds, we will forward the matter to police for investigations.


“The Zifa Village is our blue chip. We have the funds to finish the village project. Fifa gave us a grant this year for development and we will use part of that money to complete the Zifa Village. We don’t want any foreign funding. By July we should have completed construction work and the village must start operating.


“The Dynamos issue, as everybody knows, is now at the level of the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC). But as a national association, we will give our assistance whenever required.


“I was told by the SRC recently that they are working on solving the Dynamos issue.


“I personally think the solution lies in the old members and the interim executive coming together to form a coalition and elections have to be held to choose a substantive leadership.


“The elections for the PSL are definitely going to be held on May 8 and we hope that will help bring stability in the league. We are working on assisting the PSL develop a junior league and we will dedicate part of the grant from Fifa for that purpose.


“It is difficult for Zifa to try and secure sponsorship at present due to the mess that it is in. We have to put the house in order first. I am sure if we produce audited accounts, put in place competent administrators and implement measures to solve other outstanding issue such as the Warriors’ technical department we can restore confidence and trust.


“It is then that we can approach the corporate world. But, like in countries such as Nigeria, the government has to play a major role in developing the game.


“Our government has given an assurance that it will play that role and the corporate world will then come in to complement.


“My position is I should achieve tangible results within a year in office. I will evaluate myself after 12 months and will quit if I would have failed to achieve these goals.


“Indeed, I am a member of Zanu PF. But it must be noted that in the Zifa board I sit with MDC members and our political affiliations are never allowed to interfere with our efforts at developing soccer. There has never been any political influence on me from any government minister or party official pertaining to my role as Zifa chairman.


l Last week on Thursday I attended the press conference called by Zimbabwe Cricket Union (ZCU) chairman Peter Chingoka and the union’s managing director Vince Hogg.


Chingoka announced at the beginning of the press conference that they had taken measures to solve the impasse between the union and 13 senior players.


It was interesting that the players were not represented at all despite initial claims by Chingoka that the two parties had amicably ended the impasse. Even new captain Tatenda Taibu had to have his position represented by Chingoka.


“Streak and the other players have said they have no problem to play under the captaincy of Taibu,” claimed Chingoka.


However, before the end of that day the union announced the team for the Sri Lanka tour that excluded all the senior players and that symbolised the deepening of the impasse.


That is Zimbabwean cricket for you. Probably therein lie answers to questions regarding the way things have been going over the past three weeks. itaidzamara@yahoo.com

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