GOVERNMENT has, through the Ministry of Sports and Recreation, deplored the suspensions of several football officials by ZIFA following the impasse between the soccer controlling body and PSL over the number of teams to be promotion and relegated.
By Tongai Mwenje and Tafadzwa Ndiraire
Zifa president Phillip Chiyangwa has been criticised from several quarters for his dictatorial tendencies which has seen him often crushing dissenting voices.
PSL chair Peter Dube and Highlanders chief executive Ndumiso Gumede have been suspended while Caps United board chair Lewis Uriri who had also been suspended had his suspension lifted just days after he had savaged Chiyangwa’s administration describing it as demonic and lacking vision and strategy to emanicipate Zimbabwean football from its present chains.
He charged that Chiyangwa had taken the game into near abyss. Dube was suspended for allegedly disrupting procedure at a Zifa congress last month while Gumede was suspended on the grounds that he had written a letter to Fifa deploring the state of football and asking the world soccer governing body to come to Harare and assess the situation on the ground.
Uriri was said to have incited the PSL to revolt against Zifa over the relegation and promotion issue. It is against this background that the minister of Sport and Recreation Makhosini Hlongwane raised concern over the way football was being run.
Speaking to reporters during a news conference in Harare on Wednesday, he said the net effect of all this was that it scares away potential investors from the game. He said he had since instructed the Sport and Recreation, to intervene and bring the warring parties together and find common ground. Zifa, he said, should instead focus on building structures. The minister said the administration of football using “my gun is better than your gun” approach would not help in the development of the game.
He said the government is concerned by what it seems to be managerial improvisation as opposed to managerial comprehensiveness in handling football matters.
Giving reference to the recent ZIFA/PSL impasse which culminated in the suspension of several football officials, Hlongwane condemned the action on the pretext of timing of the announcement of such decisions. He said the inconsistency in decision making is a greatest potential threat to the football development in our country.
“Of specific concern, is the timing of the announcement of the decisions that have an unsalutary impact on investment into the football sector. Like any other economic sector predictability is central to decision making by stakeholders,” said the minister. He said the football authorities must not seem to be in a state of disorder where there is high inconsistency of policy and action implementation every time they meet to discuss football business.
“Football authorities must not seem to be hoping from crisis to crisis every time they meet to discuss and take what should be important decisions,” he said.
Hlongwane also warned the football authorities to desist from needless squabbling which undoubtedly is a cancer to the growth of the game and investment into the sector.
“We caution against using a “my gun is bigger than your gun” approach in mediating difference within football at all levels,” he warned.
The PSL and Zifa are expected to meet on Saturday to try and resolve the impasse torched by disagreements over the number of teams to be relegated and promoted.