By Sports Reporter
THE nasty fallout between the Felton Kamambo-led ZIFA leadership and Philip Chiyangwa reached new levels Wednesday when the local football mother body imposed football life bans on former association president and his then deputy Omega Sibanda.
ZIFA revealed that the decision to impose life bans on Chiyangwa and Sibanda was made during an executive committee meeting last Friday.
The meeting resolved to disband the entire national men’s team from the technical team to the players after recommendations from its Technical and Development Committee.
However, it is the decision to ban Chiyangwa which is set to hog the limelight as it comes after the local football association recently attempted and failed to recall the controversial Harare businessman from his position as COSAFA president.
Chiyangwa is accused of bringing the game into disrepute after allegedly submitting an incomplete bid to host this year’s edition of the COSAFA Cup tournament which resulted in the country being banned from participating in next year’s tourney.
Although ZIFA said the ban was with immediate effect, according to local football statutes, the decision awaits rubber-stamping by the congress, which is the highest decision-making body of domestic football.
“Mr Philip Chiyangwa was banned for life for bringing Zimbabwean football into disrepute through the 2019 COSAFA Cup bid debacle wherein he unilaterally submitted an incomplete bid document without getting the government guarantee and ZIFA Board resolution which ended up attracting a ban from COSAFA where Mr Chiyangwa is the president,” ZIFA said in a statement.
“Zifa are however appealing on the ban and still pursuing their case with COSAFA to have Mr Chiyangwa revoked, unlike some sentiments ZIFA advises the Nation that this case is still alive and believes Mr Chiyangwa will have his day in COSAFA soon.”
The local football mother body also slapped a similar ban on former ZIFA boss for Sibanda, accusing him of interfering in a matter which was before one of the association’s judicial bodies.
“Mr Omega Sibanda was banned for life following his incessant interference with ZIFA judicial bodies during which he sought to influence a ZIFA lawyer to throw away a ZIFA electoral case, in a bid to foment turmoil in Zimbabwean football.”
ZIFA added: “All ZIFA affiliates who are instructed to enforce the ban, COSAFA, SRC, Ministry, FIFA and CAF have been notified on the Bans and amongst conditions of such are that the individuals concerned are no longer with immediate effect allowed entry into all ZIFA sanctioned football matches played in Zimbabwe, football meetings, conferences and Indaba. The position taken by ZIFA does not absolve the three individuals from being further brought to book for more transgressions that are still to be concluded and under investigation.”
Meanwhile, ZIFA also brew another shocker after announcing that they have disbanded the senior national football team as a result of the chaos that characterised its camp during the disastrous Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) campaign in Egypt.
“The entire national men’s team was with immediate effect disbanded following wide consultations with stakeholders. The decision to disband the entire national team from the technical team to the players was arrived at after going through the technical reports which the association received and the recommendations from the ZIFA Technical and Development Committee,” ZIFA general secretary Joseph Mamutse said.
The football association however said it would allow incoming new Warriors coach to recall players who were in the previous team although the future of most of the players who participated in the doomed campaign now looks uncertain.
“The establishment of the new national team set up was to be informed by the association’s national teams policy, code of conduct and philosophy with all future call ups based on commitment, technical and tactical aptitude, patriotism and above all discipline. Players and technical personnel with a questionable commitment to national duty shall not be considered for any selection in the future. However, the new technical set up based on their own discretion have a right to select players who were in the previous team,” ZIFA said.
The move by ZIFA to disband the Warriors comes less than a month before the start of the 2021 African Cup of Nations campaign where Zimbabwe face off against Botswana on September 11 before clashing with Zambia two weeks later.
Reigning African champions Algeria are also in the same group with the Warriors but they will only meet each other next year.
Zimbabwe will also play minnows Somalia In the preliminary round for the 2022 World Cup qualifiers with the two legged tie set to be played between September 2 and 10.