EMBATTLED Premier Soccer League chairman Twine Phiri’s hopes of retaining his post are now hanging by a thread after the Philip Chiyangwa-led Zifa board suspended him yesterday.
Chiyangwa maintains that Phiri’s mandate on the Zifa board ceased when Cuthbert Dube and his entire board members were booted out of office by the assembly on October 3 last year.
PSL vice chairman Peter Dube has been installed as the acting boss until the elections on March 5 — the date set by the Electoral Committee during a meeting yesterday.
“The Zimbabwe Football Association would like to inform the football fraternity and the nation that Peter Dube is the acting chairman of the Premier Soccer League until further notice. Further details regarding the chairmanship of the Premier Soccer League will be made public in due course,” said Chiyangwa.
“Twine Phiri’s mandate on the Zifa board ceased the day Cuthbert (Dube) and his entire board were given a vote of no confidence. Peter Dube will be acting until March 5. The Electoral Committee sat today (yesterday) and agreed on this date.”
Phiri’s fortunes have been waning with this latest setback coming months after the soft-spoken administrator lost his controlling stake at Caps United to Harare businessman Farai Jere.
Efforts to get a comment from Phiri were fruitless as his mobile phone was not reachable. It remains to be seen if Phiri, who is backed by the majority of Premier Soccer League clubs, will challenge the legality of Zifa’s move. While the axe hovers over Phiri’s head, reports indicate that former Zifa chief executive officer, Henrietta Rushwaya could bounce back into mainstream football administration.
Rushwaya’s lifetime ban for her alleged participation in the widely publicised Asiagate match fixing scandal was lifted by Zifa on January 8 in a development that also saw 12 other individuals freed.
Sources at 53 Livingstone revealled that Rushwaya has been earmarked for a role at Zifa House.
Zifa president Chiyangwa could not deny or confirm the rumour linking Rushwaya with Zifa but said they had lifted the bans to allow people who love football to enjoy the game.
“We lifted those bans to allow people who love the game to enjoy the sport,” he said yesterday.
“We are not saying we are on an employment drive but let them go and do whatever they want as long as it develops the game. If a vacancy arises at Zifa and they want to apply, we can’t bar them. It’s a free country,” he said.
Rushwaya said she is happy to be free and “back home” but would not be drawn into discussing her next move.
“There is no better way to restore, rebuild and reposition our football than burying the hatchet and putting the darkest days of our beautiful game behind us as we look forward to the dawn of a new and promising era of Zimbabwean football under the reigns of president Dr Philip Chiyangwa,” she said.
“I won’t be seeking any vengeance but it’s important to note that FIFA refused to endorse the findings and convictions that were made . . . because these processes were not grounded in law.”
“I have always and still consider the beautiful game of football as my home, but for now I can’t say what my next move is,” said Rushwaya.
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