‘Fifa return close’

Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Kirsty Coventry

THE next three weeks will be telling for Zimbabwean football, with the Sport, Arts and Recreation Minister, Kirsty Coventry indicating that major strides have been made to lift the country’s ban by Fifa.

Addressing participants at the “It’s time to make Zimfootball exciting again” workshop organised by Zimpapers’ ZTNPrime in conjunction with Supersport and the Premier Soccer League (PSL) in Harare yesterday, she said they have had positive engagements with Fifa on Zimbabwe’s return to international scene.
Commending ZTNPrime, Supersport and PSL for organising the indaba meant to bring excitement to the local game, Coventry, who could not be drawn into revealing details of their engagement with the Fifa, highlighted that “big news” is coming in three weeks.

“This is an incredible step forward, a showcase of the talent that we do have, otherwise Supersport wouldn’t have come to the PSL if they didn’t believe they could see the talent we have as Zimbabwe in our athletes and soccer teams.

Fifa president Gianni Infantino

What you have to do as a return to good faith, is good governance, corporate responsibility, breaking everything down and building it back up which is what we’ve been doing, a process that we’ve been in for the last two years.

And to be able to come together and unify each other and want the same things.
“The first comment I’ve been getting here whether they’re joking or not is “what’s in it for me”. Even at cricket, I had comments like Fifa gave us so much money and I want to be on the board and I want to get that money. It was so blatant. Until that mindset changes we’re not going anywhere. We’re failing our athletes.

“To be very honest, we’ve taken a very strong hold on it with the support of the Sport and Recreation Commission (SRC) and we’re grateful to His Excellency (President Mnangagwa) who stood right next to me and said clean it up.

Don’t take no for an answer and that’s what we’re doing. We’ve had promising conversations in the last few weeks with Fifa and Caf, I think we’re on the right track, and we believe we will be making some good progress in the next two to three weeks which we hope will benefit our game. Our heart and soul of this country, soccer,” said Coventry.

Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Kirsty Coventry

The Sports Minister said the uncouth behaviour in the local game was threatening development of talent.

“Right now we’re letting that heart die because none of us are willing to stand up and take responsibility and none of us are willing to turn around and say your actions are going to kill us.

Your actions are not good for the good of the sport. Until we hold each other accountable, we’re going to continue failing our incredibly talented men and women, we’re going to be killing our young talent dreams,” Coventry said.
Zimbabwe has been on international football sidelines since February 2022.

Chronicle

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