World football governing body, FIFA has lifted the ban on Zimbabwe, 18 months after the national association was suspended for government interference, BT Sport can report.
The official announcement, which was made by FIFA on Monday night, comes just days before the draw for the African World Cup qualifiers.
FIFA had suspended Zimbabwe on February 24, 2022 and banned its teams from international events after the Sports and Recreation Commission had suspended the Felton Kamambo led board amid allegations of misappropriation of funds. FIFA cited government interference with operations of the national football association.
A normalisation Committee to run the affairs of ZIFA until elections are held will be unveiled this week.
“….The Bureau of the Council decided on 10 July 2023 to lift the suspension on ZIFA with immediate effect and to appoint immediately a normalisation committee for ZIFA, pursuant to article 8 paragraph 2 of the FIFA Statutes. Its duties shall encompass the following:
- To run the daily affairs of ZIFA
- To restructure the ZIFA administration
- To establish, with the help of FIFA, a collaboration agreement between the Ministry of Sport/the SRC and ZIFA, which will define the responsibilities and objectives of each party, including (but not exclusively) on the topic of sexual harassment
- To 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
- To act as an electoral committee in order to organise and conduct elections of a new ZIFA Board based on the newly aligned ZIFA Statutes and Electoral Code
- To ensure a proper financial handover to the new ZIFA Board
The normalisation committee will consist of a suitable number of members, who will be appointed by FIFA and CAF. The composition of the normalisation committee will be disclosed separately,” reads part of letter from FIFA secretary general, Fatma Samoura.
It continued: “While the aforementioned persons will assume their duties with immediate effect, all members of the normalisation committee must pass an eligibility check to be carried out by the FIFA Review Committee in accordance with the FIFA Governance Regulations.
“Their confirmation will be contingent upon the outcome of the eligibility check.
Furthermore, the FIFA administration, in consultation with CAF, reserves the right to dismiss any of the members of the normalisation committee and/or to appoint further members at any time.
“As the normalisation committee will also act as an electoral committee whose decisions will be taken at first and last instance, none of its members will be eligible for the positions to be filled during the elections under any circumstances, including in the event that their mandate as a member of the normalisation committee has been revoked or that they resign from their position.
“The specific period of time during which the normalisation committee shall perform its functions shall expire as soon as it has fulfilled all of its duties as mentioned above, but by 30 June 2024 at the latest.
“During the term of the normalisation committee, FIFA Forward funds will be paid in monthly instalments and upon receipt of a budget, monthly reporting and other supporting documents such as bank statements. Funds will only be released for planned projects approved prior to the appointment of the normalisation committee. Exceptions may be granted with FIFA’s prior agreement.
“In addition, a forensic audit of ZIFA’s accounts will be carried out as soon as possible and upon restitution of the relevant documentation by the local authorities and individuals that have been in control of ZIFA thus far.
Finally, the lifting of the suspension imposed on ZIFA and the appointment of a normalisation committee shall take place without prejudice to the ongoing investigations and court proceedings at national level.”