Lawmakers have sensationally claimed that criminal elements with no sporting record are running sports in the country with their only focus being looting at the expense of stakeholders.
Others also condemned the world football body, FIFA, of being run by a “Mafia” and ignoring the plight of Zimbabwean authorities who have exposed alleged rot in the manner Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) led by Felton Kamambo is running soccer in the country.
This comes amid raging debate on how sports is being administered in the country including the suspension of Zimbabwe from international football by FIFA.
The suspension has seen talented young footballers frozen out of competitive regional and international matches and missing out on potential scouts from lucrative leagues.
Senior players including the much decorated Marshall Munetsi who is plying his trade in France have also raised concern on the manner the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) is handing the ZIFA matter that led to Zimbabwe being suspended from global football competitions.
Kambuzuma MP Willias Madzimure questioned Minister of Youth, Sports, Arts and Recreation, Kirsty Coventry on what the government is doing on the February 24, 2022 ban of Zimbabwe from international football by the world governing body FIFA.
“We all know that playing soccer has become big business and a source of livelihood for our children. At the same time, the age of a child does not stop because Zimbabwe is not participating. Right now we have got under 20s in Egypt, we have had under 18s in Morocco (AFCON). This is where our children’s skills are identified by scouts who will be there for that particular purpose. We have now gone for a full year without Zimbabwe participating,” he said.
Norton MP Temba Mliswa said criminals must not be allowed to run sports in Zimbabwe adding that FIFA must allow the SRC to deal with the rot mainly in football.
“I have a BA Honours in Sports and Fitness Studies but I am not in the administration of sport in this country, yet we have got criminals in the administration of sport,” Mliswa said.
“There has got to be accountability. No wonder why you see Cricket and Rugby in the days we used to play it, there was accountability but now the people who are administering these sports never played these sports at all because the sponsors then were willing to put money into people who were prepared to account.”
“FIFA is a cartel of a mafia who, all they want from Zimbabwe are votes and they were favouring this administration which was told to stand down. The Minister must respond to that. There is a forensic audit which the previous administration was guilty of and they have been exposed that they were misappropriation of funds. It is correct that you cannot allow people who misappropriate funds to run sport and as such, SRC took that action.”
“As a result, FIFA are interfering in our affairs. Who is FIFA in the politics of Zimbabwe and in the laws of Zimbabwe? Can you respond to that? By FIFA suspending Zimbabwe, it is pretty clear that FIFA interfered in the politics of Zimbabwe. We are a sovereign nation and we stick to our laws. The SRC did what they did to remove these criminals who FIFA wants to use to make sure that they empower and continue their activities.”
“FIFA has allowed women to be abused in football and they have done nothing. To hell with FIFA! We do not need FIFA in Zimbabwe. We can play football amongst ourselves and this is the time that football must be developed in this country so that we have many Lionel Messis.”
Acting leader of government business in parliament Amon Murwira said he was not competent enough to comment about FIFA.