Chiyangwa must stay away from Zifa, says MDC-T

By: 
Staff Reporter

THE opposition MDC-T party has said politicians should not be involved in the administration of sport in the country.

“Sport should essentially be administered by non-political actors in order to ensure that there is no unnecessary polarisation and friction amongst sportspersons and fans who follow and enjoy various sporting disciplines,” party spokesman Obert Gutu said in a statement Friday.

“Put simply, sports administration should never, ever be contaminated by the involvement and participation of practising and active politicians.

“In addition, fly-by-night opportunists and some other such chancers should also never be granted the opportunity to become top level sports administrators.

“These people, almost invariably harbour certain ulterior motives that may not be in the best interests of all concerned stakeholders.”

Gutu did not name tycoon Philip Chiyangwa but the Zanu PF politician is odds-on-favourite to take over as Zifa president after the ouster of the disgraced Cuthbert Dube. The elections will be held on December 5.

“By its very nature, politics can be very toxic and confrontational and perhaps, this is the rationale behind the principle adopted by FIFA that political interference is strictly forbidden in soccer administration,” said Gutu.

He added: “Football is arguably the world’s most beautiful game.

“As such, practising and active politicians should keep away from holding positions in the day to day administration of a sport that is keenly followed and supported by millions of Zimbabweans.

“Politicians should be involved in politics and football stakeholders such as former soccer players and some other such persons with a direct link to football should be left to administer football affairs.”

Even FIFA discourages political interference in football.

“Sport should essentially be administered by non-political actors in order to ensure that there is no unnecessary polarisation and friction amongst sportspersons and fans who follow and enjoy various sporting disciplines,” said the MDC-T.

“This is the main reason why the global football association, FIFA, is very strict in ensuring that there shouldn’t be any political interference in the manner in which national football associations are administered.”

The MDC-T’s policy, Gutu said, is that the administration of sport should be left to sportspersons.

“The MDC advocates for a policy whereby sports administration in the various sporting disciplines is essentially left in the hands of people who have actively participated in the particular sport as players, administrators or stakeholders in a meaningful and tangible way.”

He added: “Football is arguably the world’s most beautiful game.

“As such, practising and active politicians should keep away from holding positions in the day to day administration of a sport that is keenly followed and supported by millions of Zimbabweans.

“Politicians should be involved in politics and football stakeholders such as former soccer players and some other such persons with a direct link to football should be left to administer football affairs.”

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