Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
CAF has distanced itself from an embarrassing condolence letter signed by its president Ahmad Ahmad and addressed to Phillip Chiyangwa as Zifa president.
The letter mourning the death of former Premier Soccer League chief executive officer Chris Sambo was later pulled down and replaced by a corrected version.
In an emailed response to a Chronicle Sport inquiry on the authenticity of the initial letter, Caf chief of staff Abdulah Moustapha sensationally described the letter addressed to the flamboyant Harare businessman and Cosafa president as fake and claimed their official condolence message was sent to Zifa via email on Sunday at 8.30am.
“The letter attached in your email, which also circulates on the net, does not come from our service (fake news). Our letter of condolence was sent only by email on 2/8/2020 at 8.30am to the president of the federation Felton Kamambo and the federation email contact,” wrote Moustapha.
Despite the Caf denial, its letter to Kamambo, the Zifa president, contained the same contents as the one addressed to Chiyangwa, with the difference only being the recipient.
“I was deeply saddened to learn about the loss of Mr Chris Sambo, former chief executive officer of the Premier Soccer League (PSL). Mr Sambo as one of the dedicated persons in the football industry.
I wish to convey, on my behalf and on that of the African Football Confederation, our heartfelt condolences to his family. In these mournful circumstances, we share with you our most sincere sympathies and support. Reiterating my deepest condolences, please accept, Mr President, the expression of my highest consideration and personal esteem,” read the two letters.
Chiyangwa, told Chronicle Sport that he did not receive the letter from Ahmad, but said it was a clear sign that the international football community recognised that he lost a stolen election in 2018.
“I didn’t get the letter, (but) ain’t surprised. The election was stolen through bribery (and) this rings far and loud,” said Chiyangwa.
Thirty-two Zifa councillors are under investigation by police on allegations of receiving bribe money ahead of the 2018 Zifa elections that ushered in Kamambo as Zifa president after defeating Chiyangwa.
Police sources recently told Chronicle Sport that investigations have been completed and the prosecution has since agreed to go ahead with the matter as they believe they have a strong case to warrant convictions.