HomeSportInside sport: Bring back Kamambo

Inside sport: Bring back Kamambo


IT was refreshing to hear Sports minister Kirsty Coventry promising that she was working on something to see to it that the problems in Zimbabwean football were resolved.

The current crisis in Zimbabwean football is probably Coventry’s real big test since her appointment in 2018 and all eyes and ears are now on her to see how best she will handle the problem.

This comes after Fifa banned Zimbabwe from international football after the Sports and Recreation Commission threw out a Zifa leadership headed by Felton Kamambo — for various reasons — in what Fifa termed government interference.

Fifa have demanded that the SRC reinstate Kamambo first before Zimbabwe could be readmitted including participation in Afcon 2023, something which the SRC is refusing to accept.

It is now up to the minister to step in and resolve this debacle once and for all, and for that matter, in a manner that does not leave room for a rebound.

The fact that Zimbabwe was on April 20 in the hat for the Afcon draw clearly shows that the country is not yet completely out of the international picture unless Zimbabwe itself completely ignores Fifa’s demands.

Zimbabwe were drawn to face Morocco, South Africa and Liberia but chances are high that the country might not participate in the competition if serious action is not taken right now.

The reason is that the Confederation of African Football have given Zimbabwe and Kenya up to May 15 to sort out their football problems or else they will be thrown out of the Afcon qualifiers.

Fifa is not bending its rules and still wants Kamambo reinstated to his old position of Zifa president or else there won’t be further international football for the country.

On April 21, Fifa even wrote that they would not accept the resolutions of yesterday’s Zifa assembly meeting until Zimbabwe had complied first with the Fifa Council order of February 24, which reads: “confirmation to Fifa that Zifa and its management led by president Kamambo is back under their full and unconditional control.”

This is the biggest stumbling block for Afcon 2023 but Zimbabwe cannot completely shut itself out of international football because of a simple decision to reinstate Kamambo for the short period left of his term.

There are some who have concluded after giving it a thought that it is wise to bring back Kamambo for the sake of Zimbabwe’s immediate readmission to international football and participation in Afcon 2023.

This, they say, is not because Kamambo is clean from the allegations he is facing but is intended at following the Fifa rules and securing Zimbabwe’s much-needed future in international competitions.

They are in agreement that giving Kamambo the remaining period of his term of office will not do much damage compared to missing out on international football altogether for years to come.

The Zifa assembly thought they had found a solution to the crisis by revoking the mandate of Kamambo but with Fifa refusing to accept the outcome of their meeting, it is now back to zero.

Ironically, the Zifa assembly itself that wants Kamambo out is also under investigation by the same SRC for gross corruption including receiving bribes from various Zifa election candidates.

With all that is happening in Zimbabwean football, the question is: What should Zimbabwe do now?

The answer is simple: Reinstate Kamambo and then take it up from there. It is about following the Fifa rules or else Zimbabwe will be in the cold for longer.

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