FIFA Lifts Suspension On Zimbabwe
FIFA has lifted Zimbabwe’s suspension from international football with immediate effect, more than a year after it was imposed.
Zimbabwe was indefinitely suspended by FIFA after the country’s sports regulatory body, the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC), suspended the ZIFA board for corruption among other allegations.
FIFA deemed the sacking of the ZIFA board as third-party interference.
But following several visits by FIFA officials to Zimbabwe, FIFA and SRC finally struck an agreement for the latter to lift the suspension of the Felton Kamambo-led ZIFA board.
FIFA said it will immediately appoint a normalisation committee to run the affairs of ZIFA in the lead-up to fresh elections.
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This was revealed in a letter addressed to the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) by FIFA General-Secretary Fatma Samoura on Monday. The letter reads in part:
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.
The normalisation committee will consist of a suitable number of members, who will be appointed by FIFA and CAF (Confederation of African Football).
The composition of the normalisation committee will be disclosed separately.
While the aforementioned persons (Kamambo & Co) will assume their duties with immediate effect, all members of the normalisation committee must pass eligibility checks 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under any circumstances, including in the event that their mandate as a member of the normalisation committee has been revoked or that they resign from their position.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.
This means Zimbabwe will be included in the World Cup qualification competition draw set for Wednesday.
CAF had provisionally included Zimbabwe in their 2026 World Cup African Zone qualifying draw scheduled for Cotonou, Benin.
Zimbabwe will be in Pot 4 when the draw is done and will be in the same lot with Mozambique, Gambia, Sierra Leone, Togo, Tanzania, Central African Republic, Malawi, and Libya.
The World Cup qualifiers are scheduled to start in November.
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