FIFA suspends Zimbabwe

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World football governing body FIFA has suspended Zimbabwean football for government interference in the running of the game.

Football in the country has been marred by chaos ever since the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) suspended the Felton Kamambo-led Zifa board citing several violations on November 16 last year.

FIFA responded and gave the SRC until January 3 to reinstate Kamambo and company or risk Zimbabwean football being banned.

The ultimatum fell on dear ears and today, FIFA suspended Zimbabwe.

No Zimbabwean football activity will be recognised by the governing body until the Kamambo-led administration has been reinstated.

“On 21 December 2021, FIFA sent a letter to ZIFA to once more remind all parties of the contents
of article 14 paragraph 1 i) and article 19 paragraph 1 of the FIFA Statutes,” reads a letter from FIFA.

In addition, FIFA highlighted that if the SRC’s decisions to suspend the ZIFA Board and appoint the restructuring
committee in its place were not reversed by 3 January 2022, FIFA would have to submit the
matter to the Bureau of the FIFA Council for consideration and decision.
On 1 January 2022, ZIFA informed FIFA that its delegation to the AFCON was being managed by
the SRC. ZIFA further stated that an acting General Secretary had been appointed by the SRC.
On 3 January 2022, the SRC stated that if discussions were to resume between FIFA and the SRC,
the aforementioned roadmap would have to be reviewed and could only be implemented by the
restructuring committee.
On 4 and 27 January 2022, ZIFA confirmed that the SRC had not reinstated the ZIFA Board and
that no communication whatsoever to that effect had been received from the SRC.
On 4 February 2022, the ZIFA President was barred from travelling to Cameroon for the AFCON
final, “[at the] insistence of the SRC and [as] a continuation of their interference”.
On 14 February 2022, the ZIFA President, three other ZIFA Board members and the General
Secretary were summoned to court by the SRC and accused of misuse of the football body’s
letterheads during their suspension. Eventually, the court granted bail and ordered them to report
to the police station once a week, surrender their passports and refrain from visiting the ZIFA
headquarters or purporting to act as ZIFA officials until the matter had been resolved. The court
also set the next hearing for 31 March 2022.
The FIFA Council considered that the aforementioned circumstances were serious.

“Consequently, and in accordance with article 13 of the FIFA Statutes, ZIFA loses all its membership
rights as of 24 February 2022 until further notice. ZIFA representative and club teams are therefore
no longer entitled to take part in international competitions until the suspension is lifted. This also means that neither the ZIFA nor any of its members or officials may benefit from any development programmes, courses or training from FIFA and/or CAF.

“Finally, notwithstanding this suspension imposed on ZIFA and in line with FIFA zero-tolerance policy
towards corruption, sexual abuse and any other unethical conduct, FIFA reiterates its commitment to cooperating with any ongoing investigations regarding alleged sexual harassment and bribery by ZIFA officials. FIFA will therefore remain at the disposal of the national authorities and plaintiffs with respect to the above during the suspension period.”

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