Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) board member for finance Philimon Machana has criticised the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC), accusing domestic sport’s regulator of failing to advance the interests of the sector.
In an interview on Classic 263’s radio programme “The morning grill”, Machana said the SRC was not doing much to lobby for the sports industry, and instead, was now interested in regulation and control of sports associations.
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Machana said they were shocked to get official communication on the morning of some Chibuku Super Cup matches that football activities had been suspended, yet the government had tightened COVID-19 restrictions days earlier.
He asserted that ZIFA and the Premier Soccer League had done everything possible for the game to be played, with players and officials testing every week, facilities and team buses disinfected, as well as appointing medical and COVID-19 protocol personnel. Said Machana:
I must say formally we have a relationship of a regulator and the national sports association, which is enshrined in the SRC Act.
On the ground, as a football community, we’re not seeing much in terms of what the SRC is doing to try and play that facilitative role for football development in our country.
We’ve done everything possible to try and meet everything that the SRC requires in terms of standard operating protocols to alleviate COVID-19 infections.
I know I may be in trouble, but at some stage, we need to tell each other the truth. I think this SRC is not playing its role.
It seems they are more interested in control, regulation, and punishment instead of playing the facilitation role.
We at ZIFA haven’t met the SRC board since they were appointed even though we wrote asking to meet.
In fact, as the ZIFA board, we’ve met HE (President Mnangagwa) more than we’ve seen the SRC board.
Machana said ZIFA will continue to appeal and will not tire of asking the SRC to lobby on its behalf, saying the sports regulator should also abandon its headmaster-pupil approach towards sports associations.