Senior Sports Reporter
new ZIFA chief executive, Yvonne Mapika Manwa, has been urged to shun football politics and put the interests of the nation first in her quest to turn around the fortunes of the troubled football association.
Manwa’s appointment was announced by the ZIFA Normalisation Committee yesterday and is effective from November 1.
Football supporters, who spoke to Zimpapers Sport, said the appointment was a step in the right direction as ZIFA had no substantive chief executive since the suspension of Joseph Mamutse in 2021.
Manwa has previously occupied the same position at Premiership log leaders Ngezi Platinum Stars.
Zimbabwe National Soccer Supporters Association secretary-general Joseph Mutawu said ZIFA needed stability.
“I think this is a good appointment, looking at the job that she has done at Ngezi Platinum Stars.
“Our hope is that she will be able to work well with all the stakeholders, supporters included, and bring everyone together to work for the betterment of our football.
“We have always had a big problem in Zimbabwe with people, when they get into these offices they end up personalising the game and creating unnecessary factions.
“Divisions have caused more harm to our game in the past.
“Hopefully, this is now a thing of the past. So, as ZNSSA, we would like to congratulate her on this appointment,” said Mutawu.
Warrior cheerleader Chris Romario Musekiwa said Manwa should get down to work as soon as possible.
“Congratulations to Yvonne, this is a well-deserved appointment. She did well at Ngezi Platinum Stars and she comes to ZIFA at a time when our football needed fresh ideas.
“Considering where we’re coming from with Zimbabwean football, the situation at ZIFA needs someone level headed, someone who knows his/her stuff and I am sure the Normalisation Committee have done their best in evaluating all the CVs before settling for her.
“So, she needs support from the united football family.
“There is a lot of work in front of her. Our football had died and it required resuscitation. Right now ZIFA needs structures to run the game, so that it becomes a strong institution.
“We would want to see life in our game; we have 2026 World Cup qualifiers coming soon, there is no time to waste, players should be contacted and given contracts, and so on.
“Development has also been lacking. We want to see Zimbabwe reclaiming its place in African football,” said Musekiwa.
Manwa’s contract will run concurrently with the tenure of the Normalisation Committee, whose mandate expires in June 2024.