The under-fire Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) insists the local game is in safe and capable hands despite growing discontentment over the way the most popular sport in the country is being administered.
“I want to assure you that your football is in safe hands regardless of the reports that are coming out. Your football is in safe hands,”ZIFA President, Felton Kamambo said while giving a keynote address at the FIFA Member Association Elite Referees Course in Bulawayo.
With ZIFA continuously being found on the wrong side by the public jury given the way football is being run in the country coupled by the dismal performance of national football teams, Kamambo insists their hands are clean.
“No matter what they say or pretend we are doing, we will remain transparent. I think they have done everything that they have done, we have been accused of abuse of funds but I am sure FIFA came and they verified our books. Not even a single cent was abused. Not even a single receipt was missing, so guys I assure you that your football is in safe hands and we will take football where we want to take it,” said Kamambo.
Turning to the referees, the ZIFA boss hailed local match officials for doing well under difficult circumstances with some form of cushioning on the cards to ensure they carry out their duties with relative ease.
FIFA Referees Instructor, Felix Tangawarima, who is conducting the course with Polish fitness expert and fellow FIFA Instructor, Grzegorz Krzosek, warned referees to guard against match fixing.
“You need to know. You need to be careful. You don’t need to have these people make money out of you. They get millions of dollars and maybe give you $100. What is $100 to your career? I have seen some youngsters here who have got the ability to get to the World Cup and surely you forfeit all that because of $100? You forfeit all that because somebody wants to make money out of you? You have to be clever,” said Tangawarima.
The course attended by 35 participants from around the country will be followed by one for instructors and another for young talent.
Meanwhile, three local referees; Philani Ncube, Hardly Ndazi and Tinashe Marange have failed fitness tests for selection to the 2020 FIFA panel.