Sports Reporter

A GROUP of former footballers has appealed to the ZIFA Normalisation Committee to ensure the association creates an environment that supports more inclusion of the ex-players in football development and decision-making.

The concerns were raised during a meeting held with the Normalisation Committee in Harare on Thursday.

Dynamos legend, Moses Chunga who was part of the delegation said they made presentations to the committee led by another ex-footballer, Lincoln Mutasa.

Chunga said ex-footballers have always been shut out from influential positions as well as technical positions within the association.

He said football statutes have always been crafted to frustrate the former players.

“As former footballers, we have been marginalised for a long time.

“You will always wonder why former footballers are not wanted near the game yet they are the people who went through the process of playing the game and understand better most of the things that affect players.

“It’s ironic that footballers cannot just go and participate in elections to become secretary for a lawyers’ organisation or an association of engineers.

“But with football, it’s always free for all. Even fish mongers can come and lead the organisation,” said Chunga.

He cited previous attempts by ex-Warriors players Benjani Mwaruwari and the late Edzai Kasinauyo, whose quest for position in the ZIFA board attracted more enemies and detractors among the administrators at the time.

“Please understand me correctly, I am not saying we should shut out people with technical expertise in areas like accounting or legal, but what I am more concerned with is the technical areas and areas that do not need much specialty.

“For example, we have people who have played or coached at a higher level and have requisite qualifications but still being sidelined for such a highly technical position of Technical Director, with the appointing authorities opting for a teacher who is only armed with theory and no experience.

“Look at FIFA, they went for Arsene Wenger for Chief of Global Football Development. He has been through the mill, he understands football issues better and he is doing well.

“But we have had a problem where people would craft rules and regulations that deliberately shut the door on former footballers and make them believe that the only way they can plough back to the game is by becoming coaches.”

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