HARARE – Following reports that the Zimbabwean Football Association has banned former ZIFA president Philip Chiyangwa for life, the embattled boss has hit back.
Media reports emerged from the Southern African country that the football governing body has banned the outspoken football administrator after bringing the bringing Zimbabwean football into disrepute.
In a statement, ZIFA accused Chiyangwa of unilaterally submitting an incomplete bid document to host this year’s Council of Southern African Football Associations (COSAFA) Cup without getting a government guarantee.
Zimbabwe reneged on an agreement to stage the event, a move that saw South Africa taking over as hosts.
“This is a joke and it’ll remain a joke and people here want winners, they don’t want losers,’’ said Chiyangwa according to The Herald of Zimbabwe.
“COSAFA is the regional body and you cannot have people in ZIFA mooting sanctions against a superior authority, as has happened.
“What worries me, and what the real football power will take care of, are the unsubstantiated claims, where people can make things out of the blues, saying this guy was doing this and that.
“What I can assure you is that a comprehensive response is coming and when that happens, I am sure those who are making all these accusations and statements will still be in the office to actually stand to answer and defend themselves.
“In football, you don’t just sit in a room and come up with lies and say this and that and issue a statement. We are in a different world of the game now, and you can even see that the game has now adopted the use of technology so that we can be sure a goal has been scored, or a foul has been committed to warrant a penalty.
“We were celebrating with the Zimbabwean players, the Zambian players, the South African players, exceptional women footballers who represented their countries with distinction and you saw the big crowd during the final, that’s what FIFA wants to see.
“And, back home, some people were having meetings, as usual, saying we are doing this, doing that, banning PC, banning Omega Sibanda as if this is some street drama where you say ‘hey, I don’t want this guy and let’s replace him with this fellow.”
In addition, ZIFA now faces a ban and a hefty fine from COSAFA for pulling out of hosting the southern African tournament.
Although Chiyangwa lost his position as ZIFA president last year, he remains the current president of COSAFA, the southern African regional body.
His ZIFA ban, which comes into immediate effect, means he will no longer be allowed entry into all ZIFA sanctioned football matches played in Zimbabwe, football meetings, conferences and any football-related activity in the country.