FULL TEXT: FIFA Declines SRC’s Request To Dissolve ZIFA Board

Dear Chairman,

We refer to your letter dated 14 August 2019, through which you requested FIFA to appoint a normalisation committee for the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA), namely because of allegations of financial mismanagement.

At the outset, we would like to underline that FIFA encourages close cooperative relations between its member associations and national governments.

In addition, we expect our member associations to be fully accountable for and, if required, submit to the authorities all relevant information regarding the use of public funds, if any are provided, in line with the pertinent national legislation.

Regarding funding provided by FIFA, we would like to inform you that every member association receiving FIFA Forward development funds, including ZIFA, is subject to rigorous controls in the use of these funds.

This includes an annual central audit review which is undertaken by an independent professional auditor appointed by FIFA.

Adverse findings noted by the auditors are reported to the FIFA Audit and Compliance Committee and may result in a restriction or even suspension of funding.

Furthermore, in the event of any suspicion of the misuse of funds, the matter is referred to the competent FIFA judicial body.

As a consequence of the above, we deem that the conditions for setting up a normalisation committee for ZIFA in line with art. 8 par. 2 of the FIFA Statutes are not fulfilled. In this context, we must remind you about the contents of art. 14 par. 1 let. i) and art. 19 par. 1 of the FIFA Statutes, which stipulate that all member associations are obliged to manage their affairs independently and without undue influence from third parties.

Therefore, should the Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts & Recreation of Zimbabwe, upon recommendation of the Sports and Recreation Committee (SRC), decide to appoint an interim committee to administer the affairs of ZIFA, it would be considered undue influence in the sense of the FIFA Statutes.

Consequently, the matter would be presented to the relevant FIFA bodies for consideration and possible action, which may include the suspension of ZIFA.

Finally, we would like to inform you that FIFA is engaged in assisting ZIFA with its debt servicing strategy. In this regard, we would like to underline that we remain at the authorities’ disposal to discuss, if possible, joint efforts to address ZIFA’s current financial situation.

We thank you for taking note of the above and trust in your understanding.

Yours sincerely, FIFA
Alasdair Bell Deputy Secretary-General (Administration)

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