No way back for Kamambo as SRC gets Fifa, CAF support on reforms

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Suspended Zifa president Felton Kamambo

Ousted Zifa president Felton Kamambo’s attempts to cling on to power amid pressure to step down appear to have hit a snag, following the positive engagements between the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) and representatives from Fifa and the Confederation of African Football (CAF).

Fifa accepted an invitation from the SRC to send a delegation on a fact-finding mission which started on Monday.

The world football governing body is represented by its senior member associations governance manager Sarah Solemale and head of development programmes in Africa Solomon Mudege — a Zimbabwean based at the FIFA headquarters in Zurich.

CAF director of member associations Sarah Mukuna and COSAFA president Artur de Almeida de Silva along with Football Association of Malawi president Walter Nyamilandu and Botswana Football Federation president Maclean Letshwiti are also in the country.

After meetings with the SRC, Zifa and other football stakeholders it appears that both Fifa and CAF have accepted the fact that there is no way back for Kamambo, which could result in the appointment of a normalisation committee to run the affairs of the local football governing body.

The suspension of Kamambo and members of his board by the SRC led to Fifa’s decision to suspend Zimbabwe from international football in February last year.

Prior to this week’s events SRC had rebuffed Fifa’s demands for them to lift Kamambo’s suspension, insisting on the implementation of key reforms before the country seeks the lifting of its suspension.

Fifa’s senior member associations governance manager Sarah Solemale is part of the delegation in Zimbabwe on a fact-finding mission

In a statement on Thursday evening, the SRC said both CAF and Fifa were in agreement on the need for reforms within Zifa.

“Throughout the week, FIFA and CAF engaged with various stakeholders and officials involved in Zimbabwean football to gather their perspectives. A common sentiment among these stakeholders was the need for strong, lawful governance structures to support Zimbabwe’s return to international football and a commitment to implementing necessary reforms for the sport’s future development and success in the country,” the SRC board said in a statement on Thursday evening.

“The SRC has also been involved in productive discussions with FIFA and CAF, including COSAFA, with a mutual goal of resolving the issues surrounding the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA). The conversations have been marked by good faith from all parties and a genuine interest in advancing solutions. The outcomes of these discussions have been promising, with the SRC, CAF, and FIFA generally agreeing on the next steps to address ZIFA’s current situation.”

The SRC thanked local football stakeholders who met Fifa and CAF officials early this week for speaking with one voice. The stakeholders, who include representatives from PSL clubs, women’s football and the players’ representatives were all reportedly against the reinstatement of Kamambo.

“The Commission deeply appreciates the firm support and positions taken by all stakeholders involved in this week’s consultations. These stakeholders have been clear about the changes needed in Zimbabwean football and have collectively called for a swift resolution to ZIFA’s challenges,” the SRC said.

“The SRC acknowledges and accepts these calls for action and commits to utilizing the positive relationships it has built with FIFA and CAF over the past year, particularly during this week’s meetings, to work towards resolving ZIFA’s encumbered status. The public will receive further updates on this matter, particularly during the first week of May 2023.”

 

 

 

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