FIFA Lifts Suspension On Zimbabwe | Full Letter
The Federation of International Football (FIFA) on Monday, 10 July lifted its suspension on Zimbabwe from participating in international tournaments.
Pindula News is publishing the letter from FIFA Secretary General Fatima Samoura addressed to the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) about the development:
We would like to inform you that the situation of the ZIFA was submitted to the attention of the Bureau of FIFA Council (hereinafter: the Bureau).Feedback
On this occasion, the Bureau was reminded that, on 24 February 2022, the FIFA Council decided – in accordance with Article 16 paragraph 1 of the FIFA Statutes – to suspend the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) with immediate effect due to flagrant violations of the FIFA Statutes. It also decided that the suspension would be lifted only once the following conditions had been met:
- The repeal of the Sports and Recreation Committee (SRC) decision of 26 November 2020 suspending the ZIFA General Secretary
- The repeal of the SRC decision of 16 November 2021 suspending the ZIFA Board
- The repeal of the SRC decision of 17 December 2021 setting up the restructuring committee
- FIFA’s receipt of confirmation from ZIFA and its management, led by President Felton Kamambo and General Secretary Joseph Mamutse, that ZIFA and its premises are once more under their full and unconditional control
- The withdrawal of the SRC’s legal complaint against the ZIFA President, three other
ZIFA Board members and the General Secretary regarding alleged misuse of the ZIFA
Furthermore, the Bureau took note that, on 20 June 2023, the FIFA administration received confirmation that:
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- the suspension of the ZIFA General Secretary had been lifted by the SRC in May 2022;
- the suspension of the ZIFA Board had been rescinded following resolutions passed by the ZIFA Congress in April 2022 and had been acknowledged by the SRC;
- the withdrawal of the SRC as a complainant in the aforementioned legal case had been notified to the Prosecutor-General of Zimbabwe on 14 June 2023
- the restructuring committee was considered by the SRC as null and void following the termination of its mandate at the end of December 2022.
Notwithstanding the above, the Bureau observed that the mandate of the ZIFA Board had come to an end in December 2022 insofar as the last elections of the ZIFA Board had taken place in December 2018 for a four-year term. Also, Mr Mamutse had apparently not resumed his position of General Secretary, thus leading to sanctions which were currently subject to an employment-related dispute at national level. In this context, from a legal standpoint, it is no longer possible for Mr Kamambo, his fellow Board members and Mr Mamutse (i) to resume their positions of leadership at ZIFA, and (ii) to confirm that ZIFA is under their full and unconditional control.
In particular, the difficulties in finding a consensus with the SRC in terms of its compliance with the decision of the FIFA Council has led to an extensive duration of the suspension imposed on ZIFA (i.e. approximately one and a half years). This has certainly contributed towards creating a political vacuum in the ZIFA leadership to date. Additionally, the obvious need for stability towards the football community and the SRC as well as the need for reforms were also raised as topics during the FIFA-CAF mission in Harare. There might be a momentum to address several sensitive topics that have been reported to FIFA and the SRC, such as sexual harassment in Zimbabwean football.
Under these circumstances, 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. 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.
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