The Sunday Mail
Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) board member, Sugar Chagonda, has become the first member of the suspended football association’s executive committee to publicly speak out.
Chagonda has urged his colleagues on Felton Kamambo’s team to respect the sanctions imposed on them by the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC).
On Tuesday, the SRC finally cracked the whip on ZIFA, ending two years of heightening tensions between the two parties, with the country’s sports regulatory body dissolving the board, insisting they stand ready to face a possible backlash on Zimbabwe by FIFA.
Philemon Machana, Barbra Chikosi, Bryton Malandule, Farai Jere and Stanley Chapeta are some of the board members that have been placed on suspension.
ZIFA immediately reacted to their suspension by the SRC, by withdrawing all referees who had been billed to officiate at the Premier Soccer League matches from Tuesday to Friday.
Chagonda, the board member in charge of competitions, said it was important that his ZIFA colleagues respect the decision.
He made his views known in statement on Wednesday.
“Like any other institution or committee, nobody wants to leave office or the mandate they would have been given especially in public office by way of suspension or being fired.
“The SRC gave their reasons and in their statement, they also indicated that they had consulted before acting, which might suggest that their move has the blessings of the Government,” said Chagonda.
“As a result, it is my appeal to fellow ZIFA board members that we need to respect the SRC decision and take it on the chin.
“At law they are our sporting authorities as enshrined in the Sport and Recreation Act.”
He also distanced himself from the ill-advised move to bar referees from officiating at PSL games.
“I want to also categorically distance myself from any moves to sabotage any of the game’s structures including the regrettable move to withdraw referees from all Premier Soccer League matches. To me that is synonymous with daylight witchcraft or sorcery.”