via Fifa endorses Cuthbert Dube – DailyNews Live by Godknows Matarutse 1 APRIL 2014
World football governing body, Fifa has given their thumbs up to the Zimbabwe Football Elections (Zifa) elections held at the weekend and endorsed the newly elected Cuthbert Dube-led board.
Dube received an overwhelming seal of approval from the Zifa electorate to land the highest post in Zimbabwean football for a second term on Saturday.
The wealthy Harare businessman, who has been in the media for all the wrong reasons for his involvement in the Salarygate scandal, convincingly beat ex-Zifa chairman Trevor David Caresle-Juul after winning the run-off 44 to 14.
The preliminary poll had seen Dube garner 34 votes followed by Carelse-Juul with 14 while Leslie Gwindi got 10 votes. The fourth candidate, Nigel Munyati, failed to get a single vote.
The new Zifa board will have Dube as the president and he will be deputised by Omega Sibanda while John Phiri, Fungai Chihuri, Bernard Gwarada and Tavengwa Hara will be the board members.
Although the majority of Zimbabweans are convinced that the mortified Dube used underhand tactics to win the poll, Fifa endorsed the election as free and fair.
Addressing journalists after paying a courtesy call to Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Lazarus Dokora, Ashford Mamelodi, the Fifa development officer for Southern Africa, said the world football body had been satisfied with how the polls were conducted.
“I came here to attend a general assembly part of which the elections was one item and I should say it went very well, it was an important day in football,” Mamelodi said.
“For us at Fifa we have just helped Zifa to come up with a new constitution and implement it. It was so successful and quite gratifying.
“The election went well, absolutely well. The electoral board did a sterling job and they really need to be congratulated for that. We at Fifa are very happy that the new Zifa board has been properly elected in terms of the statutes and we stand ready support that.
“We really just appealing even on the government side that they should continue to support football not just in terms of financial resources but even in terms of how they relate with it.
“At Fifa we view the partnership on the stakeholders; we think they are very important especially in Africa where you hardly do anything without support of government.
“We are extremely satisfied with the election. Anybody else who isn’t and who wasn’t in the room as the member of the Zifa general assembly, why do we really need to continue being negative.
Fifa also urged Zifa to quickly make use of the grant they got last year from the Fifa Goal Project.
“Zifa is a member of good standing as far as Fifa is concerned. The $500 000 was approved last year. It’s just that the delay has been the land and this why we had to raise it with the minister.
“Over the weekend Zifa has once again proved that notwithstanding all the challenges they have there are an association that has utilized our support very well.
“Having the meeting at Zifa Village was testimony to this. The facilities there considering where they were some six, seven years ago the outgoing board did a fantastic job there. And Zifa will continue get support from Fifa, no question about that.
“We did talk to the minister. We are really appealing to him to fast track the land issue because the grand is there but you know with Fifa, if it takes too long it will be pulled away and given to another country.
“And the last thing I would want to see is Zifa losing it. I think Zifa have already done a lot of work and I am hoping now that the elections are over things will move a little faster. Money is there and we are ready plough in another goal project.
Mamelodi also clarified Fifa’s position on the Asiagate match-fixing scandal that has threatened to strain relations between the two organisations.
“First of all as Fifa we want to congratulate Zifa. Very few, I don’t know if there are any associations that have taken this monumental task head on. And whether people like it or not, I don’t think anybody in this country could dare cross the line after what has gone on thanks to Asiagate investigations and the committee that was set,” he said.
“I think the instructions are clear. Fifa have expressed their position that matters should be heard through a Zifa Disciplinary Committee. We expect Zifa to undertake that and I am sure they will want to close this matter as soon as possible but they will have to go through the channels that we have recommended.
“And remember if it goes through that process and there are still guilty parties, what Fifa is saying the worldwide ban will be enacted.”