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Sepp Blatter's Resignation Worries Zimbabweans

FIFA: Fifa President Sepp Blatter, centre, poses for a photo with schoolchildren during his visit to the Zimbabwe Football Association Village in Mount Hampden about 40 kilometres west of Harare, Monday, July, 4, 2011. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

Some Zimbabwean soccer fans say the stepping down of FIFA president Sepp Blatter will negatively affect Africa, including Zimbabwe, as many associations were receiving grants for the development of the sport under his leadership.

Blatter announced his decision to step down after being voted in for another five-year term last week but was put under pressure by corruption allegations facing his association.

Blatter told reporters Tuesday he would stay in office until another FIFA election is held.

One of the soccer fans, Fabian Mahembe, said the ZIFA leadership should take a cue from Blatter and resign as they are bringing the sport into disripute by their alleged mismanagement.

"We had a lot of development projects like the GOAL programme during Blatter's tenure and he had a good relationship with the Zimbabwe Football Association and the Confederation of African Football which made it possible for a lot of developing countries to undertake some development programmes under his leadership," said Mahembe.

His views were echoed by several other fans who noted that Blatter played a key role in the construction of the ZIFA Village in Harare, which has a lot of facilities targeted at developing soccer at local, national and international level.

FIFA provided grants over the years that saw the construction of the village.

"We appreciate the construction of the ZIFA village through grants from FIFA but we hope that the leadership at our local mother body will also step down so that as the international soccer mother body changes its leadership will do the same," said Mahembe, adding that he was disappointed at the way soccer is being run in ZIFA.

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