HomeSportPacked VIP arena puts Zifa on spotlight

Packed VIP arena puts Zifa on spotlight

BY Sports Reporter

ZIFA could face sanctions from Confederation of African Football (CAF) for alleged breach of Covid-19 protocols after packing the VIP area with guests during the Warriors’ goalless draw in a 2022 Qatar FIFA World Cup qualifier against South Africa on Friday.

This comes a few days after Zifa’s ill-conceived application to CAF for the green light to bring 10 000 fans to the stadium in spite of the fact that the country is under Covid-19 lockdown was dismissed by the continental football body.

As a result, the match was supposed to be held behind closed doors although Zifa had the prerogative to invite a limited number of special guests and dignitaries.

“CAF analysed and assessed your request from a medical, stadium requirements compliance and safety and security perspective in your venue. Accordingly, a decision has been taken not to allow the presence of spectators in the aforementioned match,” read part of CAF’s correspondence to Zifa’s request.

However, Zifa chose to bring a number of individuals in the VIP sections leading to a breach of Covid-19 protocols set by the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC), Sports and Health and Child Care ministries as well as CAF.

StandardSport understands that Sports and Recreation minister Kirsty Coventry, who attended the match, was not happy with the number of guests who occupied the VIP enclosure.

This may lead to the ministry launching an investigation into the criteria Zifa used to select guests for the crucial World Cup encounter.

Musician Peter Moyo, comediennes Madam Boss and Lorraine Guyo were part of the guests who occupied the VIP enclosure at the stadium.

Zifa Communications manager  Xolisani Gwesela could not be reached for comment as his mobile phone was  not reachable yesterday.

Football stakeholders took to social media questioning the presence of socialites, musicians and some politicians at the match venue.

One football fan Vincent Tseka (@VincentTseka1) registered his dismay on the micro blogging site Twitter.

“Zimbabwe vs South Africa game was supposed to be played without supporters because of Covid-19, but as the game started people started coming in. No social distancing and mask,” Tseka wrote before posting a picture of the packed enclosure.

A Zanu PF politician and deputy minister is said to have facilitated the entrance of the majority of the guests into the stadium.

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