HARARE – Zimbabwe’s Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) has underplayed the significance of extended sanctions by Fifa after the world football governing body on Thursday upheld the country’s international suspension.

Zimbabwe was thrown out of international football in February 2022 for government interference in the affairs of the national federation. On Thursday at the 73rd congress of Fifa in Rwanda, 199 member nations voted overwhelmingly to keep the southern African country in isolation.

The SRC, a government-appointed sports regulatory body in Zimbabwe, has remained unmoved by the Fifa sanction, maintaining that it is not in a rush to have the suspension lifted before football has been “reformed” in the country.

Gerald Mlotshwa, the head of the SRC, did not alter the stance after news of the continued suspension broke out on Thursday.

“There’s nothing new here,” Mlotshwa said. “Neither SRC, or to the best of my knowledge, Zifa (Zimbabwe Football Association), have approached Fifa to lift the suspension of Zimbabwe’s membership.”

Fifa suspended Zimbabwe last year after the SRC sacked Zifa president Felton Kamambo and his entire executive, accusing them of corruption and sexual harassment of female match officials.

The federation is currently being administered by an interim committee, but Fifa has ordered the SRC to reinstate Kamambo’s crew for the country’s suspension to be lifted.

Mlotshwa – apart from the restructuring stance – has maintained that Kamambo can no longer legally return to office since he was subsequently recalled by Zifa’s own congress after the SRC had sacked him.

“Our conversations with Fifa are centred on reforms and not the lifting of Zifa’s suspension,” said Mlotshwa.

“No such formal request has been made yet. And no such formal request will be made until Zifa and SRC have agreed to the roadmap we have made previous reference to. That’s where our focus is and should be. It’s as simple as that.”

Zimbabwe was suspended 13 months ago alongside Kenya, both nations facing similar charges, but the East Africans have since been readmitted after complying with Fifa.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here