Sikhumbuzo Moyo,Acting Sports Editor
FIFA’s disciplinary committee has fined Zifa 10 000 Swiss francs for the Mighty Warriors’ failure to fulfil the return leg of the African Women Olympic qualifier against Zambia which was slated for Rufaro on September 1.
The match was also awarded to Shepolopolo on a 3-0 scoreline. According to a statement from Fifa which was carried by an online publication, Goal.com, the fine is to be paid within 30 days from the date of the notification.
“The FIFA Disciplinary Committee found the Zimbabwe Football Association responsible for the infringement of the relevant provisions of the Regulations for the Olympic Football Tournaments Games of the XXXII Olympiad Tokyo 2020 related to withdrawal (art. 7 par. 1) and of the FIFA Disciplinary Code related to unplayed matches and abandonment (art. 14).
“The FIFA Disciplinary Committee declares the match of the Women’s Olympic Qualifiers that was scheduled to be played between Zimbabwe and Zambia on 1 September 2019 to be lost by forfeit by Zimbabwe (0-3).
“The FIFA Disciplinary Committee orders the Zimbabwe Football Association to pay a fine to the amount of CHF 10,000. In application of art. 6 par. 1(a) of the FIFA Disciplinary Code, the Zimbabwe Football Association is warned on its future conduct. The above fine is to be paid within thirty (30) days of notification of the present decision,” reads the statement.
The Mighty Warriors, who had lost the first leg 0-5, failed to fulfil the fixture after some clubs, most of them funded by security services, Zimbabwe Republic Police, Zimbabwe Defence Forces and Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services, withdrew their players from camp on the eve of the match under still to be clear reasons.
The clubs are alleged to have been incensed by the association’s failure to pay the players allowances, an allegation that the association has since disputed as it has emerged that the players were actually paid their dues.
They had been promised to be paid their outstanding allowances after the second leg from a US$100 000 grant that had come from Fifa but former Zifa employee Lazarus Mhurushomana won a court order to garnish the Zifa account over some outstanding salary dispute issues.
Zifa have however, questioned the timing of the withdrawal of the players in the middle of the night and after both teams had attended a pre-match meeting with the match referees.