ZIMBABWE Cricket chairman Peter Chingoka was this week included on the new sanctions list by the European Union.
The EU on Wednesday widened sanctions against Zimbabwean individuals linked to President Robert Mugabeâ€™s government.
The body published a list of 37 more individuals and four businesses subject to visa bans and asset freezes. The additions take the total number of targeted individuals to 168.
The EU explained Chingokaâ€™s inclusion saying: “He is chief of the federation of cricket of Zimbabwe, having publicly supported the terror campaign carried out before and during the elections”.
An important aspect of the action is that Switzerland and other European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries also supports it, and so Chingoka will not be able to transit through any EFTA or EU countries, which really curtails travel choices.
Chingoka has steadfastly denied that he has any links to the ruling regime of Robert Mugabe.
A decision last October to deny him a visa to enter the UK was shrouded in confusion. While government sources told the worldâ€™s leading cricket website, Cricinfo that the visa had been refused because of evidence of links to the Zanu-PF government, the ICC apparently never asked Chingoka himself why he had been barred.
A consequence was that the ICC annual conference earlier this month was moved away from London for the first time in 99 years as it was felt that Chingoka would be denied entry. Chingoka never actually reapplied for his visa.
His inclusion on an EU list will weaken his standing and will also undermine claims by his supporters within the ICC that the original ban was an unwarranted unilateral action by the British government.
It is possible that the US authorities will extend their own list of individuals subject to sanctions in the coming weeks.
“The sanctions . . . are designed very much to reinforce the drive for the transitional government that reflects the democratic will of the Zimbabwe people as expressed in the election in March,” David Miliband the British foreign secretary said.
Chingokaâ€™s right-hand man, ZC managing director Ozias Bvute, who is accused of supporting Mugabeâ€™s government was not included. â€“ Cricinfo/ Staff Writer.