Petros Kausiyo

EX-ZIFA board member Sugar Chagonda has some advice for Yvonne Manwa — Being CEO of the association is not some Mickey Mouse stuff.

The Manica Diamonds secretary has thrown his full weight behind Manwa.

He has urged the domestic football family to shun the toxicity that has often pegged back the country’s biggest sport.

“I wish to congratulate Mrs. Yvonne Mapika-Manwa on her recent appointment as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA).

“As the preferred choice of the ZIFA Normalisation Committee, football stakeholders can only, at this stage, wish her well and support her as she assumes her role of leading the ZIFA secretariat.’’

Chagonda is under no illusions about the tough task that awaits Manwa as she takes over the office that has been without a steward since Joseph Mamutse went AWOL in the lead up to the expiry of his contract with ZIFA on August 31.

“Admittedly, she is faced with a daunting task and certainly no kindergarten business but I strongly believe that it is premature and unfair for career critics to engage in an overdrive, attacking her appointment at this stage.

“Let’s give her a chance.

“I wish her well in her herculean task.

“I strongly urge the ZIFA Normalisation Committee to support the new ZIFA CEO and they should go beyond just announcing her appointment, by urgently putting up supporting key structures for football, failure of which, they will be setting her up for failure.’’

Chagonda who broke ranks with the Kamambo board at the height of their tiff with the Sport and Recreation Commission, also wants Manwa to quickly shift focus from administering a club to the national task that is now before her.

“It must be acknowledged that as ZIFA CEO, she is now administering the national game from grassroots to elite levels.

“Therefore, Mrs. Manwa should not just be consumed with the administration of the senior national teams and their international events as there is a lot on her plate that needs to be done if the envisaged reform processes in Zim football are to be achieved.

“In dealing with the ZIFA issue, let us as football stakeholders, also shun the toxicity, which is sadly rampant in our football and Mrs Manwa could do well from the start to avoid being dragged into some of the shameful petty politics that always drag our football backwards.”

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