The Sports and Recreational Commission(SRC) yesterday suspended ZIFA CEO Joseph Mamutse from all football activities to pave way for an investigation into how a number of national football teams were cleared for foreign assignments, under questionable circumstances, in this Covid-19 environment, The Herald reports,
The SRC suspended one of its directors Director-General Prince Mupazviriho for the same reasons as well. This was contained in a statement that was released by the SRC Chairman Gerald Mlotshwa which stated that:
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Notwithstanding the clear provisions of the law and related guidelines, policies and directives relating to the undertaking of external tours by football teams representing Zimbabwe, at various age and gender groups under the auspices of the Zimbabwe Football Association, the SRC board notes the persistent flouting of the aforesaid framework in place, with the attendant controversies and embarrassments to the country
Noting the need to balance the interests of athletes, against the need to hold accountable those administrators responsible for these shortcomings, the board of commissioners of the SRC has resolved as follows:-
- The placement of the general-secretary/CEO of ZIFA, Joseph Mamutse, under immediate suspension from all forms of football administration pending an investigation into the circumstances under which:-
1.1 The Zimbabwe National Women’s Football Team left Zimbabwe to participate in a tournament in South Africa without the necessary approval from the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation (‘Sports Ministry’) in conjunction with the Ministry of Health and Child Care (‘Health Ministry’) in light of the Covid-19 regulations and attendant directives thereto;
1.2 Regulations and attendant directives thereto;
1.3 The Zimbabwe National Under-17 Girl’s Football Team left Zimbabwe to participate in a tournament in South Africa, without the necessary approval from the Sports Ministry in conjunction with the Health Ministry, in light of the Covid-19 Regulations and attendant directives thereto;
1.4 The circumstances under which the Zimbabwe National Under-17 Boy’s Football Team left Zimbabwe to participate in a tournament in South Africa, without the necessary approval from the Sports Ministry in conjunction with the Health Ministry, in light of the Covid-19 Regulations and attendant directives thereto;
1.5 The circumstances under which the Zimbabwe National Under-17 Boy’s Football Team was nonetheless disqualified from participating in the said COSAFA tournament on allegations of including overage player(s) in the side.
- The placement of the director-general of the Sports & Recreation Commission, Prince Mupazviriho, under immediate suspension pending an investigation into the circumstances under which ‘authority’ was purportedly granted, in retrospect, to the teams set out in 1.1 and 1.2 to travel to South Africa without the knowledge and / or authority of the SRC board as well as the Ministries of Sport and Health, above;
- The board of commissioners notes, in light of ZIFA’s reported ‘appeal’, that the Sports Ministry has, in writing, advised ZIFA to seek an exemption from the SRC for being non-compliant, in respect of its application for clearance of the Zimbabwe National Under-20 Boys Football Team to participate at the COSAFA Boys Tournament in South Africa. Due consideration will be given to any such request for an exemption taking into account the foregoing exigencies – any final authorisation shall be at the instance of the Ministries of Sport and of Health.
- The adherence to national laws, policies, guidelines, association and club constitutions, and other regulations, including court orders by all those charged with the administration of sport in Zimbabwe is hereby stressed. Those continuing to breach the same without thought for the consequences are hereby forewarned. The end is nigh.
- Sebastian Garikai, director of sports and recreation development, shall be the acting director-general of the SRC pending the outcome of the investigations set out in paragraph 2 above.
The development came a few short days after the SRC barred the National Men’s Under 20 team which was supposed to leave for a COFASA tournament in South Africa today for the same reason they suspended Mupazviriho and Mamutse. The decision by SRC to stop the Under 20 national team from going to South Africa will likely get Zimbabwe fined for missing the tournament and possibly be banned from future COSAFA tournament.
More: The Herald