Sports Minister Kirsty Coventry said that there has been open communication between Zimbabwe and FIFA before the world football governing body suspended the country from international football several weeks ago.
FIFA banned Zimbabwe after the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) suspended the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) board led by Felton Kamambo.
But speaking before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Sports, Arts and Culture, recently, Coventry said there will be a resolution in the coming months that will not have a negative impact on football in the country, internationally or continentally. She said:
The communication between Zimbabwe and FIFA and all government bodies is open and everyone is doing all they can.
When I was first appointed by the President (Mnangagwa) it was when ZIFA were doing elections and the first thing was to call FIFA to send representatives, which they did.
They had three FIFA representatives who came to oversee the election so, from that time, the communication has been open.
FIFA have statues that have to be honoured, not disrespected, hence them having to take the decision to suspend.
They could’ve taken the decision from the onset, why they couldn’t, it was because there’s open communication.
And, you know from the cricket experience, there’s never a desire from the international body to completely outrun a country.
I’m very thankful to FIFA and CAF because they’re very understanding at this point of the struggles that we’ve had in Zimbabwe with ZIFA over the last few years, they’re aware of it and right now the goal is trying to figure out a way that is a win-win for both.
FIFA can’t be made to look like they’re not abiding by their statutes, when there’s been clear third party interference from SRC, and no one is denying that.
No one is denying that ever happened and there’s a committee that was set up and they’re not an interfering committee, they are a special committee set up by SRC with different background experience to help find a way for everybody.
The assessment was done and we knew full well what the consequences would be.
We have consistently tried, since 2019, to clarify and work through some of the issues with ZIFA, Government has paid in full for every tournament, for the past few years.
ZIFA, we don’t even know what money went where, for all the money they’ve received from FIFA, we’ve never asked them or asked to see it but we’ve only asked them to account for what the Government did.
We didn’t ask them about the FIFA funds, we’ve asked for Government funds to be accounted for.
And, since 2019, I’ve been asking them to make sure the female players are paid better and to make sure they’re treated the same but they aren’t.