The FIFA Congress on Thursday overwhelmingly voted for the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) to remain suspended from international football.
The FIFA Congress, which is a meeting of FIFA’s member states, in Doha, Qatar, voted for the suspension of Zimbabwe, Kenya and Pakistan.
FIFA president, Gianni Infantino introduced a motion to endorse Zimbabwe’s suspension and a total of 199 members voted in support while only two members, presumably Pakistan and Qatar, voted against the motion.
Nine other members thought to be COSAFA members – South Africa, Zambia, Botswana, Mozambique, Malawi, Lesotho, eSwatini, Angola and Namibia abstained.
Infantino said ZIFA’s suspension will be lifted when the ZIFA board, led by Felton Kamambo, is reinstated. Said, Infantino:
FIFA Council suspended Zimbabwe Football Association on February 24, 2022, with immediate effect due to third party interference, in particular the takeover of the ZIFA football activities by a ‘so-called’ restructuring committee appointed by the Government after the latter’s executive committee and the general secretary had been suspended which constituted a violation of the FIFA Statutes.
We, therefore, recommended that Congress confirms this suspension of ZIFA, enabling also the Council to lift the suspension once the pertinent requirements have been fulfilled.
The Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC), which suspended the ZIFA board, appointed a restructuring committee that will serve the functions of the ZIFA committee, but this was rejected by FIFA.
What does the suspension mean for Zimbabwean football?
Zimbabwe will not be allowed to participate in any international football activities.
This means that the Warriors could miss out on qualification for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations finals.
Local football clubs will be barred from representing the country in continental competitions.
Zimbabwe will also miss out on the annual cash injection from FIFA, around US$8 million in a four-year period.