Zimbabwean football experienced a rollercoaster ride on Tuesday as the Zifa board was suspended early morning before top flight matches were abandoned later in the day as referees did not take to the park.
The Sports and Recreation Commission announced that the decision to suspend the Zifa board came after lengthy consultations with other stakeholders.
“Sports and Recreation Commission (“SRC”) hereby informs the public that …the SRC Board has with immediate effect suspended the ZIFA Board in accordance with the Sports & Recreation Act,” read a statement from SRC.
“This decision has been considered following several incidences of gross incompetence on the part of
ZIFA, such conduct and/or omissions being contrary to the national interest, as provided for in terms of Section 30 (i) (c) of the SRC Act.
“For purposes of clarity, Section 30 of the SRC Act states that -:
(1) Where the Board considers that any registered national association—:
(c) has conducted itself in a manner which is contrary to national interest; the Board may, after
affording the association concerned an opportunity of making representations in the matter, do
either or both of the following—:
suspend all or
any of its officers;”.
An interim committee is expected to be announced in the next 48 hours by the Minister of Youth, Sport, Art and Recreation.
The development could be viewed as a direct Government interference to the running of football in the country by FIFA.
This could result in the country being suspended from participating on international competitions including the 2021 Afcon which is scheduled for Cameroon in less than two months’ time.
Meanwhile following the suspension of the ZIFA board, referees who were supposed to officiate the Premier Soccer League matches which were scheduled throughout the country Tuesday afternoon withdrew their services.
Highlanders were scheduled to face-off against Ngezi Platinum at Barboufields while Herentals were to play against Black Rhinos at the National Sports Stadium with Dynamos visiting Triangle at Gibbo.
Yadah were set to host ZPC Kariba while Cranborne Bullets and Bulawayo Chiefs were ready to face each other at Sakubva.
But none of those games could go ahead as match officials either walked out or failed to turn up totally.