The former secretary general of the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) Referees Committee, Obert Zhoya has been handed a five-year ban from all football activities by the world football governing body, FIFA.
This was after he was found guilty of abusing his position to sexually harass female referees.
Zhoya has also been fined 20 000 Swiss Francs by FIFA’s adjudicatory chamber.
In a statement FIFA said:
The adjudicatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee has banned Obert Zhoya, former secretary general of the Referees Committee of the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) from all football-related activities for five years, after having found him guilty of abusing his position to sexually harass three female ZIFA referees. In addition, the adjudicatory chamber imposed a fine amounting to CHF 20,000 on Mr Zhoya.
“Upon careful analysis of the written statements of the victims as well as the various evidence collected during the investigations conducted by the investigatory chamber, the adjudicatory chamber was comfortably satisfied that Zhoya had breached art. 23 (Protection of physical and mental integrity), art. 25 (Abuse of position) and, by corollary, art. 13 (General duties) of the Code of Ethics.
The terms of the decision were notified to Zhoya today, the date on which the ban comes into force, and will be followed by notification of the grounds within the next 60 days following the Code of Ethics.
Zhoya stepped down from his position in April this year following allegations of sexual harassment raised by female referees.
Zhoya’s resignation marked the first time that a senior official linked to suspended ZIFA president Felton Kamambo quit the association.
One of Zhoya’s alleged victims claimed that she had been “humiliated, intimidated and degraded” after he reportedly asked her via WhatsApp to spend the night with him in a hotel.
The sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) suspended the Kamambo-led administration over the sexual abuse and fraud allegations. This prompted FIFA to suspend ZIFA for political interference. The ban is still effective.