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Zimbabwe Sports in Turmoil: Kamambo’s Ultimatum for Kirsty Coventry

Zimbabwe Sports in Turmoil: Kamambo's Ultimatum for Kirsty Coventry
Zimbabwe Sports in Turmoil: Kamambo’s Ultimatum for Kirsty Coventry

Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) Executive Gives Sports Minister 5-Day Ultimatum

The Felton Kamambo-led executive of the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) has given Sports Minister Kirsty Coventry an ultimatum to retract her “defamatory remarks” or face legal action. Coventry had stated during a question and answer session in Parliament that her ministry and the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) had suspended the Kamambo-led administration because they had failed to account for USD2 million, which was given to them by the government before the Warriors’ AFCON 2019 campaign.

The Press Conference

Following Coventry’s statement, the Kamambo-led administration held a press conference where they vehemently denied ever receiving USD 2 million. The administration’s lawyers have since written to Coventry demanding that she retract her remarks publicly or face legal action. The letter, seen by Soccer24, accuses Coventry of “deliberately and brazenly misrepresenting facts” and orders her to publish an “unconditional withdrawal” of the “defamatory” remarks within five days.

The ongoing saga has put a spotlight on the state of football administration in Zimbabwe, with many questioning the transparency and accountability of the country’s football authorities. Here is a breakdown of the situation:

Kamambo trial deferred | H-Metro

The Allegations

The allegations against the Kamambo-led administration are serious. According to Coventry, they had failed to account for USD2 million, which was given to them by the government ahead of the Warriors’ AFCON 2019 campaign. The money was allegedly meant to be used for the team’s preparations for the tournament. However, Coventry stated that the Kamambo-led administration had failed to provide a proper account of how the money was used.

Furthermore, the Sports Minister also accused the Kamambo-led administration of violating the country’s football statutes by failing to hold a congress within the prescribed period. According to Coventry, the Kamambo-led administration had been given a deadline to hold a congress by the SRC, but they had failed to do so.

The Response

The Kamambo-led administration has denied all the allegations made against them. In their press conference, they vehemently denied ever receiving USD 2 million from the government. They also accused Coventry and the SRC of acting in bad faith and seeking to destabilize the administration.

The administration also accused the SRC of interfering in the affairs of ZIFA and violating the organization’s autonomy. According to the Kamambo-led administration, the SRC has no authority to suspend the ZIFA executive, and only FIFA has the power to do so.

Hon. Minister Dr Kirsty Coventry, Cabinet Minister of Youth Affairs, Sport,  Art and Recreation for Zimbabwe | World Expo

The Ultimatum

In response to Coventry’s remarks, the Kamambo-led administration has given her an ultimatum to retract her “defamatory remarks” or face legal action. The administration’s lawyers have accused Coventry of “deliberately and brazenly misrepresenting facts” and ordered her to publish an “unconditional withdrawal” of the “defamatory” remarks within five days.

The ultimatum raises questions about the relationship between the government and the country’s football authorities. If Coventry does not retract her remarks, it could lead to a protracted legal battle between the Kamambo-led administration and the government.

The Impact

The ongoing saga has had a significant impact on Zimbabwean football. The suspension of the Kamambo-led administration has left the country without a functional football administration, and this has affected the development of the sport.

Furthermore, the allegations of financial impropriety and lack of transparency have damaged the reputation of ZIFA and the Kamambo-led administration. The lack of accountability has also led to questions about the effectiveness of the country’s football governance structures.

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