Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
Zifa Southern Region board chairman Andrew Tapela has expressed shock and disappointment at accusations of not apprising clubs on plans for return of the game being leveled against his board.
Tapela said the accusations, contained in a petition demanding an extraordinary general meeting within 21 days, were an exaggeration as his board had been ‘consistently and timeously’ communicating with the clubs.
“It’s just saddening really that we have people wanting to gain mileage out of nothing. Records are there to show that my board has been engaging with our clubs. For the record our first communication was on February 27 where we released a newsletter informing our clubs of what has been happening and what should be expected regarding the return of football and that communication was also carried by you (Chronicle Sport). The following day on February 28 another communication was sent out. We released our rules and regulations to say while we are still waiting for further information on the road to football return, can the clubs be analysing these rules and regulations so that when we eventually have our annual meeting, these rules can be rectified,” said Tapela
He said on March 10, they resent the rules and regulations together with a notice for clubs to start registration of their players online and a reminder to the same was resent on March 18.
“On March 31, we sent to our clubs detailed information on the resumption of football protocols with correspondence from the Sports and Recreation Commission as well as Zifa national telling our clubs that when football finally resumes these are the expectations which they (clubs) are expected to adhere to. Issues like fenced stadia to bar spectators from coming through; separate rooms where they shall keep their Covid-19 material and the need to have compliance officers, among other necessities. So these claims of non-communication are really an exaggeration,” said Tapela.
He said only five clubs, Hwange, Ajax, CIWU, Blue Line and ZPC Hwange have been responding.
“Let us learn to be honest with ourselves rather than raising unnecessary dust. Football will return, but it’s not us who determine that; this is why authorities said it will be a gradual return, starting with the Premier Soccer League and Women’s football.
“Clubs should concentrate on making sure they are not found wanting when the call comes to get down to serious business and those pushing this petition should ask themselves if we are given permission to start tomorrow, bazalidlala yini ibhola lakhona? Have they met all the requirements that were sent to them?”