FIFA has banned Zimbabwe from participating in any of its competitions following what it says is a gross violation of its statutes by the Sports and Recreation Commmission, which suspended the Zimbabwe Football Association for alleged corruption and theft.
In a statement signed by secretary general Fatma Samoura, FIFA said tensions between the SRC and ZIFA had resulted in the running of soccer in the country.
“The FIFA Council considered that the aforementioned circumstances were serious and constituted a clear case of undue interference by a third party. Therefore, on the basis of article 14 paragraphs 1 i) and 3 of the FIFA Statutes - as well as article 16 paragraph 1, under which the FIFA Council may, without a vote of the Congress, temporarily suspend with immediate effect a member association that seriously violates its obligations - the FIFA Council decided to suspend ZIFA with immediate effect due to flagrant violations of the FIFA Statutes. Furthermore, and without prejudice to the ongoing investigations into the allegations of sexual harassment and bribery, the FIFA Council decided that the lifting of the suspension be subject to the following conditions:
“Consequently, and in accordance with article 13 of the FIFA Statutes, ZIFA loses all its membership rights as of 24 February 2022 until further notice. ZIFA representative and club teams are therefore no longer entitled to take part in international competitions until the suspension is lifted. This also means that neither the ZIFA nor any of its members or officials may benefit from any development programmes, courses or training from FIFA and/or CAF.”
The FIFA Council decided that the lifting of the suspension be subject to the repeal of the SRC decision of 26 November 2020 suspending the ZIFA, repeal of the SRC decision of 16 November 2021 suspending the ZIFA Board, repeal of the SRC decision of 17 December 2021 setting up the restructuring committee, ZIFA and its premises are once more under their full and unconditional control and the withdrawal of the SRC's legal complaint against the ZIFA president, three other ZIFA Board members and the general secretary regarding alleged misuse of the ZIFA letterheads.
FIFA added that “notwithstanding this suspension imposed on ZIFA and in line with FIFA zero-tolerance policy towards corruption, sexual abuse and any other unethical conduct, FIFA reiterates its commitment to cooperating with any ongoing investigations regarding alleged sexual harassment and bribery by ZIFA officials. FIFA will therefore remain at the disposal of the national authorities and plaintiffs with respect to the above during the suspension period.”