Dark days ahead as Fifa ratifies Zimbabwe’s indefinite suspension

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Fifa President Gianni Infantino speaks during the 72th Fifa Congress in the Qatari capital Doha on March 31, 2022.

The world football governing body on Thursday ratified Zimbabwe’s indefinite suspension from all international football activities during the Fifa Congress in Doha, Qatar.

Other countries who were also suspended indefinitely during the 72nd Congress were Kenya and Pakistan.

Fifa had on February 24 suspended the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) indefinitely over government interference and placed conditions for readmission.

Some 199 out of the 201 Fifa members voted for Zimbabwe’s suspension while only two opposed during the Congress in Qatar’s capital.

 

Fifa had on February 24 asked the government appointed Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC)  to repeal the decision to suspend the Zifa board and appoint and “restructuring committee” or the country will remain in the cold indefinitely.

Zimbabwe’s initial suspension was announced by Fifa President Gianni Infantino during the Fifa Council Press Conference on February 24.

“Without prejudice to any investigations by national authorities or other judicial bodies, the Fifa Council also decided to suspend the Football Kenya Federation and the Zimbabwe Football Association with immediate effect due to undue interference by a third party,” Infantino said.

The Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) which suspended the Zifa board refused to meet Fifa’s conditions and instead appointed a Zifa restructuring Committee mandated to investigate the operations of the local football mother body.

The ratification of the suspension now means the country will be barred from fielding any team in any competitive event outside the country. These includes the men and women’s football teams and clubs.

Similarly, referees will be barred from international assignments while no locally-based Zimbabwean footballer will be allowed to complete a professional transfer during the duration of the suspension.

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