Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Acting Sports Editor
FOUR Cosafa member States, Eswatini, Comoros Islands, Botswana and Zimbabwe were last week chucked out of the Cosafa Under-17 championships being held in South Africa after their players reportedly failed a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan test to determine eligibility.
Immediately after the announcement Botswana never wasted time and decided to suspend its Chief executive officer Mfolo Mfolo while full scale investigations are underway to get to the root of the matter.
Eswatini authorities also issued a statement apologising to the nation and promised to conduct full scale investigations as well.
“The Ministry takes this moment to apologise to all Emaswatini for the huge embarrassment that this matter has brought to the country,’’ the Eswatini authorities said.
“The ministry, on behalf of His Majesty’s government, wishes to make it clear that it strongly condemns any form of cheating in sport and will stop at nothing to ensure that all who were involved in such, and cheating in its entirety, are removed from our sport,” reads the Eswatini statement.
The Botswana Football Association (BFA) said according to their protocols, in terms of team selection, they target players of 14 to 15 years so that they are in the structures of the team for, at least, a two-year cycle.
“We ask the nation, and the entire football fraternity, to remain calm as we await a full report from CAF and COSAFA.
“The BFA NEC has, with immediate effect, set up a three-man team to investigate the issue and we expect them to give us findings within a week’s time.
“The BFA has also suspended its CEO, Mfolo Mfolo, pending completion of the investigations.’’
Coming back home, Zifa in a shocking but perhaps expected move, took a defensive stance and disowned the MRI scan results before going on to demand the physical results of the tests.
This is your Zifa, their behaviour is always like that, ever right and everyone else always wrong.
Suddenly Zifa see the importance of getting sight of physical results yet a mere few days earlier before travelling to South Africa, they turned a deaf ear upon being asked to make public their own MRI scan results following the dropping of six boys from camp, including Claivert Tshuma after being alleged to be over age.
Again, Zifa were right not to release the results while all those who were calling for the release, including a renowned doctor and Tshuma’s parents, were off track.
One wonders why it is so difficult to follow the Botswana route and suspend everyone who might have something to do with this which led to the nation being embarrassed. Suspension is not sacking; it shows intent and seriousness.
But again, this is Zifa an organisation which is now being run like a boy only club. In the underworld it’s called a cartel. Those in charge can’t be questioned, they are the final authority only answerable to themselves yet being vicious to any dissenting voices for they want undivided loyalty.
However, what usually happens with such kind of leaders is that when danger lurks, they never see it because subordinates are afraid to warn them lest they be accused of working with the enemy.
Its high time Zifa takes Zimbabweans seriously.
You can’t tell us that the Cosafa facilitated MRI scan results are surprising and questionable on the basis of equally disputed MRI scan results you conducted yourselves.
Oh, by the way, you are Zifa. Everyone else is always wrong and only yourselves are ever right!