BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
THE Sports and Recreation Commission appointed Zifa restructuring committee has appealed for support and cooperation from local football fans and other stakeholders when it finally gets down to business this week.
Appointed in December last year in the wake of the suspension of the Zifa board, the committee chaired by lawyer Blessing Rugara will hold its initial consultative meeting with Zifa officials, female administrators and players on Tuesday.
In a statement yesterday Rugara said the committee would be leaving no stone unturned in its effort to transform local football after committing to include all Zimbabweans including those in the diaspora in its stakeholder consultations.
“The committee was appointed by the Sports and Recreation Commission as a year-long effort to transform football in Zimbabwe advises the public that the committee will soon conduct nationwide stakeholder consultative forums,” Rugara said.
“Preparations for the public hearings are at an advanced stage and the public will be advised of the dates in due course. These consultations are part of a process that will lead to the publication of a strategic report outlining a multi-year plan for developing football in Zimbabwe.
“In conjunction with the public hearings, the restructuring committee is establishing technology portals to facilitate fan participation and engagement.
“These portals will increase interactive access to a wider football audience who may not physically attend public hearings. The portals will provide a mechanism for Zimbabweans in the diaspora to participate in the restructuring process,” he added.
Rugara said he is hopeful that his committee’s initiatives which lead to a shift in culture in the way the country’s most popular sport is administered.
“It is for the Zifa restructuring committee to establish a football culture and administration that will result in healthy competitive local leagues for talent identification, development and retention. The said league should also support the progress of women and youth within an empowering comfortable environment while establishing of a progressive football development programme from grassroots level to competitive professional leagues for both men and women,” he said.
“Ultimately, the nation will have the key ingredients for competitive national teams that can perform successfully on the global stage. For the realisation of these objectives, Zifa will be transformed into a dutiful organisation that cares for players, officials, supporters, referees and administrators.
“Zifa will lead by example, becoming a fiduciary institution that is beyond reproach as a financial custodian in the administration of football in Zimbabwe.”
Zimbabwe was suspended from the global football family by Fifa last month and the world football demanded the reinstatement of the Felton Kamambo led Zifa board.
Rugara said the committee, whose term of office will run up to December 2022 is taking the opportunity to find ways for reengagement with Fifa.
“The committee is working daily to identify solutions that adequately address the current challenges in football in Zimbabwe, this includes identifying suitable pathways towards a positive re-engagement process with Fifa and Caf and creating a platform for significant growth in the coming years the committee is appealing to every Zimbabwean for support,” Rugara said.
The nine-member committee is made up of the chairman Rugara, leading sports expert Tommy Sithole, former Zimbabwe Olympic Committee chief executive Anna Mguni, banker Desmund Ali, lawyer Rudo Mugandani, former SRC Matabeleland provincial coordinator Brian Busani Moyo, Doves Holdings general manager Marketing Joel Gombera, former CAPS United administrator Joyce Kapota and CAPS United legend Charles Sibanda.
The operations of the committee are being funded by the SRC. And the committee’s recommendations, upon approval by the SRC will be implemented.