The Sunday Mail

Petros Kausiyo

ZIFA’S bid to have their former president, Philip Chiyangwa, recalled from the leadership of Cosafa has hit a snag with the regional body flatly telling the association that they do not wield such powers and will not brook any such attempts.

Cosafa came out guns blazing in a response to a letter which Zifa chief executive officer, Joseph Mamutse, had written to them last week in which the association body, unhappy at Chiyangwa’s alleged interference with their administration, had sought to have him recalled from his position as the president of the 14-member regional body.

Chiyangwa was elected COSAFA president on a five-year mandate at the Southern African Football Associations’ congress at Sun City, South Africa, in December 2016.

ZIFA last week sensationally accused Chiyangwa of having been involved in a match-fixing scam to manipulate the outcome of the Warriors’ Africa Cup of Nations match against DRC which Zimbabwe lost 4-0 in Cairo, Egypt on June 30.

Cosafa secretary-general, Sue Destombes, told Zifa in her letter to Mamutse to the association that the allegations they were raising against Chiyangwa were purely domestic issues that had no basis at Cosafa level.

Destombes also told Mamutse that although Chiyangwa was Zimbabwean he was elected to lead Cosafa in terms of the regional body’s constitution for which Zifa do not have a mandate.

“We are in receipt of your letter dated 10th July 2019, the contents of which have been noted and we respond as follows:

“1. Your allegations against the former President of Zifa, whether founded or unfounded, are domestic in nature and should, therefore, be dealt with in Zimbabwe.  These issues have nothing to do with Cosafa;

“2. The President of Cosafa was duly elected by the General Assembly of Cosafa in December 2016 in accordance with Article 10.3 of the Statutes;

“3. The Zimbabwe Football Association does not have the right to ‘recall Dr Phillip Chiyangwa as Cosafa president’ despite his nationality;

“4. The Zimbabwe Football Association, a member of Cosafa, should not seek to use the Office of the President of Cosafa to resolve domestic disputes and in so doing, bring the Zonal Union and the Presidency into disrepute;

“5. It is the prerogative of any Member Association to consider whether or not to participate in the activities of the Zonal Union.

“We trust that the Association will act in a responsible manner and seek to resolve any differences so that the focus of the leadership can be on football development and reaching the full and considerable potential which Zimbabwe has,’’ wrote Destombes.