Home » Sports » Politics Dogging Zifa Referees’ Committee

The controversy that has hit the Zifa Referees Committee, with an announcement made this week that it had been dissolved, is yet another example of the power battles that have erupted at the association. The Zifa board meets in the capital tomorrow to discuss, among other things, matters deferred from their last indaba and the controversy surrounding the Referees Committee is also set to be tabled.

Jonathan Mashingaidze, the Zifa chief executive, announced on Wednesday that their Referees Committee, led by association vice-president Omega Sibanda, had been dissolved because its membership was in direct violation of Fifa referees regulations.

The other members of the committee were retired referee Brighton Malandule, who is Sibanda’s deputy, Alfred Zindove, Masimba Chihowa, Sabelo Sibindi Maphosa, Gladmore Muzambi and Dennis Tshuma.

But sources told The Herald yesterday that Sibanda was still the Zifa Referees Committee boss as there was no board decision taken to strip him of that authority.

The Zifa vice-president declined to discuss the issue yesterday saying he was comfortable tabling issues in the boardroom, with his fellow board members, than in the media.

However, sources revealed that attempts to use his old role as chairman of the Players’ Agents, which he dumped once he decided to pursue higher office, as something that brings him into conflict with Fifa regulations, when it comes to his suitability as leader of the Referees Committee, were unfortunate.

Article 4 of the Fifa Referees Regulations, which deals with “Composition of the Referees Committee” state that:

4.1 — The Referees Committee shall be composed of a chairman, a deputy chairman and the members deemed necessary to discharge its duties. Its members MAY not be affiliated to any clubs, leagues or any other football organisation.

4.2 — The Executive Committee SHALL appoint one of its members as chairman of the Referees Committee.

4.3 — The Deputy Chairman and members of the Referees Committee SHALL be appointed by the president of the Member Association at the proposal of the Chairman of the Referees Committee.

The same sources said there was a clear difference between the two words “may” and “shall” which Fifa uses in its guidelines and by using “may” the world football governing body were leaving a window of flexibility, in the implementation of the guideline, while where it uses the word “shall”, it was giving a distinct order.

“Fifa says the members of the Referees Committee ‘may not be affiliated to any clubs, leagues or any football organisation’, and that’s different from saying that they shall not be affiliated to clubs, league or any football organisation,” said the sources.

“Omega is no longer the leader of the local player agents and he made that very clear, in public statements that were published in the media, that he had left that post when he decided to assume higher office.

“He is still the Zifa Referees Committee chairman because his appointment was done above board and his standing does not violate any of the Fifa regulations.”

Interestingly, while Fifa regulations are now being used to try and elbow Sibanda from the leadership of the Zifa Referees Committee, the association appears to have violated its constitution, in the appointment of Maxwell Takaendesa Jonge as their technical director.

Article 34 of the Zifa Constitution clearly spells out that such an appointment should be done by the Zifa board.

“The Executive Committee shall appoint the coaches for their representative teams and other technical staff,” reads Article 34 (k) of the Zifa Constitution.

The Zifa technical director falls under “technical staff” who can only be appointed by the Zifa “Executive Committee” but the current Zifa board did not appoint Jongwe and neither did it ratify his appointment.

Source : The Herald