Coventry’s call…Kirsty working to have suspension lifted

15 Apr, 2022 - 00:04 0 Views
Coventry’s call…Kirsty working to have suspension lifted


Sports Reporter 

YOUTH, Sport, Arts and Recreation Minister, Kirsty Coventry, says she is working to try and ensure the suspension, which FIFA slapped on Zimbabwe, is lifted.

She said a lot was happening in the background and pleaded with everyone to trust the process.

Coventry addressed the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on SPORTS, Arts and Culture, on the status of Zimbabwean football.

“You need to understand that there’s a lot happening in the background.” she said.

“Unfortunately, I can’t be forthcoming with everything that is happening in the background, my plea is that you should trust me, I’m asking for your trust.

“They are things that are happening, I want to promise the committee that, at the end of the day, I’m not interested in politics, the flexing of muscles, people are there to do their jobs.

“My biggest goal is protecting the interest of athletes because I was also an athlete and I understand what they’re going through and it’s not okay.

“And, I don’t want my athletes to miss out on any games because they will miss opportunities on the table.

“So, I want to tell you that I’m doing everything in my power to make sure that there is, as the Honourable Member said, a chance of us coming together to mutual agreement of a win-win situation.”

She called for patience and faith.

“Please, have faith and trust that many things are happening but for now I can’t really tell you the information at this time,” said Coventry.

“Everyone who is involved right, whether it be the SRC board, the ZIFA secretariat and some of the suspended members, everyone has the best interest of moving Zimbabwe football forward.

“In the next few weeks you will be hearing some news, soccer is our heartbeat, it is a part of who we are as Zimbabweans.

“So, my plea is to let you know that there are many things happening but please know that there will be a resolution in the next coming months that will not have a negative impact on our soccer, internationally or continentally.”

She reiterated ZIFA failed to comply with the SRC demands which led to the suspension of the board members.

“The communication between Zimbabwe and FIFA and all government bodies is open and everyone is doing all they can,” said Coventry.

“When I was first appointed by the President (Mnangagwa) it was when ZIFA were doing elections and the first thing was to call FIFA to send representatives, which they did.

“They had three FIFA representatives who came to oversee the election so, from that time, the communication has been open.

“FIFA have statues that have to be honoured, not disrespected, hence them having to take the decision to suspend.

“They could’ve taken the decision from the onset, why they couldn’t, it was because there’s open communication.

“And, you know from the cricket experience, there’s never a desire from the international body to completely outrun a country.

“I’m very thankful to FIFA and CAF because they’re very understanding at this point on the struggles that we’ve had in Zimbabwe with ZIFA over the last few years, they’re aware of it and right now the goal is trying to figure out a way that is a win-win for both.”

She added:

“FIFA can’t be made to look like they’re not abiding by their statues, when there’s been clear third party interference from SRC, and no one is denying that.

“No one is denying that ever happened and there’s a committee that was set up and they’re not an interfering committee, they are a special committee set up by SRC with different background experience to help find a way for everybody. 

“The assessment was done and we knew fully well what the consequences would be.

“We have consistently tried, since 2019, to clarify and work through some of the issues with ZIFA, Government has paid in full for every tournament, for the past few years.

“ZIFA, we don’t even know what money went where, for all the money they’ve received from FIFA, we’ve never asked them or asked to see it but we’ve only asked them to account for what the Government did.

“We didn’t ask them about the FIFA funds, we’ve asked for Government funds to be accounted for.

“And, since 2019, I’ve been asking them to make sure the female players are paid better and to make sure they’re treated the same but they aren’t.”

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