Home » Sports » Zifa Shift Goalposts Again

ZIFA chief executive Jonathan Mashingaidze has again cancelled the Extraordinary meeting set for this Saturday and the annual meeting set for June 27 in another shift of goalposts that is at the heart of his fallout with unhappy councillors.

Mashingaidze aised ZIFA affiliates yesterday that a Joint Congress, made up of an Extraordinary and Annual Meeting, will be held either in July or August.

This means that if the meeting is held in August, it will come five months after the councillors called for an Extraordinary Meeting to be held and is clearly in violation of the ZIFA constitution.

It’s now clear that the ZIFA showdown over when the association should meet can only be settled by a High Court order because at this rate of goal-post shifting, the councillors and the board might never meet this year.

Sports Minister Andrew Langa and the Sports Commission have been criticised for just watching from a distance while the association’s constitution is being violated.

Critics accuse Mashingaidze of abusing his privilege of having open communications lines with FIFA to suggest a Road Map that only suits his agenda.

“The Zimbabwe Football Association hereby informs you that the ZIFA Assembly shall hold a joint Extraordinary and Annual General Meeting in JulyAugust 2015, following FIFA’s recommendations that the two meetings be convened jointly,” Mashingaidze wrote yesterday.

“The joint meetings would have to accommodate agenda items for the ZIFA Extraordinary Meeting and ZIFA Annual General Meeting.

“Consequently, the ZIFA Assembly Meetings set for June 20, 2015 (called for by the councillors) and June 27, 2015 are hereby called off and the new date for the Joint Meeting will be communicated to all affiliates this week.

“Any meeting convened outside this new framework would not only be illegal but unconstitutional. Please find, hereto attached, copy of a letter from FIFA Secretary-General Mr Jerome Valcke, dated June 11 2015, on the change of the dates.”

Mashingaidze, though, does not say he is the one who has been feeding FIFA with the prescription of how the Road Map should look like, something that is unveiled by the letter from Valcke.

“We acknowledge receipt of your correspondences, dated June 8 and 10 2015, regarding the Ordinary and Extraordinary Congresses of the Zimbabwe Football Association,” Valcke wrote.

“We understand that our recommendation to hold both an Extraordinary Congress and an Ordinary Congress on June 16, 2015 could not be implemented and that there had been some confusion with regard the content of the agenda.

“We also take note that the ZIFA Board decided to hold both the Ordinary and Extraordinary Congresses in July or August 2015 (another shift from Mashingaidze), including items raised by ZIFA members.

“WE AGREE WITH YOUR PROPOSAL (which shows that the position is not coming from FIFA but from Mashingaidze), which should accommodate the ZIFA stakeholders who will have the possibility to discuss any of their concerns.

“Knowing that the first request by the ZIFA councillors was made in March 2015 and, in order to shorten the 60 days notice deadline of an Ordinary Congress, as stipulated in the ZIFA constitution, we suggest that you organise one Extraordinary Congress whose agenda consist of topics drawn by the ZIFA Board and topics sent by ZIFA members.

“Should you consider our recommendation, you could, therefore, accommodate the date of the Extraordinary Congress one month in aance and provide 10 days to the members to send their proposals for the agenda.

“ZIFA would then have few days to compile the topics and send the formal convocation with the agenda two weeks before the congress in compliance with the ZIFA constitution.

“We thank you for taking note of the above and kindly ask that you keep us appraised of the situation.”

The fact that Valcke acknowledges the right for the items raised by the councillors to be discussed at the Joint Congress shows that the world football governing chief respects their status in domestic football and that their issues should not be buried under the carpet even though Mashingaidze continues to play games with the dates.

However, while FIFA have even gone to the extent of communicating directly to the councillors, especially regarding where they feel they might have come short when they held their meeting on May 16, ZIFA have reacted by suspending the same people from the game.

“That’s the tragedy about our football because the contrast is there for everyone to see,” said a ZIFA councillor.

“On one hand you have FIFA who are saying that our issues should remain active, forget about the changes in the dates which are being manipulated by Mash, and on the other hand you have the ZIFA Board suspending some of our members for raising those issues and meeting to discuss them.

“If we really brought football into disrepute, as ZIFA now claim, why is it that FIFA even engaged us after our meeting on May 16, something that they usually don’t do since they normally communicate with the president and secretary-general? If FIFA were talking to us, are ZIFA even saying that the world football governing body even brought football into disrepute with their actions?

“That is why there is need for our football to refuse to be bullied by the board, through these meaningless suspensions because right now they have decimated the entire leadership of the regions and you wonder as to where they get that power.”

Source : The Herald