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CAF Orders SRC To Reinstate Kamambo

The Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) says it will not reverse its decision to suspend the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) board despite the Confederation of African Football (CAF) calling for its reinstatement.

SRC suspended the Felton Kamambo-led board on 16 November 2021 on a litany of allegations that include sexual harassment of female referees, incompetence and failure to account for public funds.

SRC board chairman Gerald Mhlotswa and the minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Kirsty Coventry held a Zoom meeting with CAF secretary-general, Véron Mosengo-Omba on Friday.

During the meeting, Mosengo-Omba, a former regional manager of FIFA’s member associations division for Africa and the Caribbean, demanded that Kamambo and his board be reinstated.

Mosengo-Omba reportedly claimed that the fraud and sexual harassment charges laid against the ZIFA board members were just allegations.

In a statement on Saturday, Mlotshwa said by insisting that the suspended ZIFA board be reinstated, CAF mistakenly believes that FIFA statutes rule supreme over Zimbabwe law. Said Mlotshwa:

I find it incredible that CAF continues to insist that we reinstate fraudsters and sexual predators, who have cases pending before the courts in Zimbabwe. CAF appears to think that FIFA statutes rule supreme over Zimbabwe law.

Mlotshwa also accused Mosengo-Omba of using a disrespectful term against him and Sports minister Coventry. He added:

I was extremely concerned when Vernon referred to the minister and me as ‘you Africans’ in a derogatory tone of voice. I recorded the entire conversation.

I now know why FIFA find it difficult to deal conclusively with corruption, racism and sexual harassment in football. It’s a part of their culture. That much is obvious.

ZIFA board members, namely Farai Jere, Sugar Chagonda and Barbara Chikosi have accepted the suspension but others have remained defiant.

Kamambo and other executive committee members Philimon Machana and Stanley Chapeta and secretary-general Joseph Mamutse, have continued to defy their suspensions.

Last Saturday Kamambo, board member finance Philemon Machana and Chapeta were arrested on fraud charges and are currently out on bail pending trial.

More: The Standard

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