MARONDERA- Football administrators and fans in Marondera have welcomed the
recent lifting of the 18-month suspension of the Zimbabwe Football Association
(ZIFA) by the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA).
FIFA General Secretary Fatma Samoura announced the readmission of Zimbabwe
back into the international fold last Monday.
The suspension was lifted just a few days before the conducting of the draw for the
African qualification competition for the 2026 World Cup showcase. The draw for the
African qualifiers for the next World Cup was held at the CAF Congress which
officially started in Abidjan last Thursday.
The first round of fixtures will be played in November.
In the interim, a normalisation committee was appointed to run the affairs of the
country’s mother football body up to a time a new management team is elected.
Following the perceived Government interference in the running of Zimbabwe,
Zimbabwe was suspended by FIFA in February 2022.
The Sports and Recreation Commission had ordered that the ZIFA executive
committee be dissolved amid allegations of misappropriating money that had been
given to the association by the Government for the country’s participation at the
Africa Cup of Nations finals in 2019.
Before the suspension, Zimbabwe played in the qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup in
Qatar, but were barred from taking part in the preliminaries for the 2023 Africa Cup
of Nations finals in Ivory Coast.
In a statement confirming the lifting of Zimbabwe’s suspension last week, FIFA said:
“The Bureau of the FIFA Council decided to lift the suspension that was imposed on
the Zimbabwe Football Association in February 2022 and appoint a normalisation
committee with immediate effect.”
The normalisation committee will also "review the ZIFA Statutes and Electoral Code
to ensure their compliance with the FIFA Statutes and requirements, and to ensure
their adoption by the ZIFA Congress" and will be chaired by local administrator
The normalisation committee was tasked to complete its mandate by June 2024 and
its other functions, will also include running the daily affairs of ZIFA, restructuring
ZIFA administration, establishing a collaboration agreement between the Ministry of
Sport/SRC and ZIFA which will define the responsibilities and objectives of each
party including (but not exclusively) on the topic of sexual harassment, reviewing the
ZIFA Statutes and Electoral Code to ensure their compliance with the FIFA Statutes
and requirements and to ensure their adoption by the ZIFA Congress.
It will further act as an Electoral committee in order to organize and conduct
elections of a new ZIFA Board based on newly aligned ZIFA Statutes and Electoral
Code as well as ensure a proper financial handover to the new ZIFA Board.
Shadreck Mari, a former board member for development at ZIFA Mashonaland East
said the lifting of the suspension was long overdue and it will give local players to
compete against other countries and market themselves on the international stage.
He said: “The suspension had stalled the development of our football because we
could not compete against other nations or compete in continental competitions. Our
footballers could not market themselves as they were confined to playing only within
our borders. By lifting the suspension, we will also be able to be involved in
international competitions after more than a year on the sidelines.”
Current ZIFA Mash East chairman Oscar Tsvuura also hailed the lifting of the
suspension and the setting up of the normalisation committee which was put to in
place to run the affairs of ZIFA up to the end of June 2024 in preparation for the
election of a new ZIFA board.
Tsvuura said: “Our country’s re-admission into the world football development is
great news as the development rightly puts us where we belong. Without a doubt, we
will once again witness accelerated development and growth of football in the
“We are likely to see many corporates and individuals investing into the sport
because people want to put their financial resources where there is return on
investment. Our young boys who play football will benefit a lot going forward and this
latest development will increase their chances of plying their trade in the more
lucrative leagues in the world.
“The next big thing that we yearn for is for the Government and local authorities to
rehabilitate our current stadiums so that the readmission becomes meaningful and
beneficial to all stakeholders and clients.”