Kirsty Coventry Launches Tirade Against ZIFA

Youth, Sport, Art and Recreation Minister, Kirsty Coventry has accused the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) of dismally failing to run football affairs in the country resulting in an embarrassing ban on all local stadia by the Confederations of African Football (CAF).

Last month CAF ordered ZIFA to look for an alternative venue to host Algeria in the upcoming AFCON 2021 qualifiers scheduled later this month.

In a Twitter tirade, Coventry, who has been taking a lot of flake for her lackadaisical approach, said ZIFA had failed the country by giving up hopes of warriors playing on home soil despite government working round the clock to upgrade stadia before the Algeria tie.

“ZIFA have failed to assure CAF that the work we are doing in the stadiums will safeguard our National Teams playing home games in Zimbabwe. ZIFA now have to come up with a stadium for our teams to play home games outside of Zimbabwe,” she said.

CAF had extended an olive branch to ZIFA last week, telling the Felton Kamambo led association to spruce up the National Sports Stadium and Barbourfields Stadiums before they could send inspectors to make a final assessment.

However, by the look of things, ZIFA has failed to meet the deadline and the Warriors will have to look for a foreign venue to play the match against the Desert Foxes.

ZIFA, in its communication last week, had suggested that the Warriors would use Orlando Stadium in Soweto but the usage of the facility would require R300 000.

Meanwhile, Coventry announced that the NSS would be moved from ownership under the Local Government ministry under the management of the Sports and Recreational Commission and will now be owned by her Ministry.

“It has been agreed that ownership + operations of the National Sports Stadium in Zimbabwe will be transferred to Ministry of Youth, Sport, Art and Recreation. We have the experience + passion to use this opportunity for Zimbabwe to become a sporting powerhouse,” Coventry said.

Appearing before the Parliamentary portfolio committee on Sports, Arts and Culture last Thursday, the SRC accused Zifa of not been remitting the stipulated finances each time they hosted a match at NSS leaving the cash-strapped commission looking for funds to service the stadiums.

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