15 March 2023
As a Coalition
of concerned and patriotic citizens, the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition is deeply troubled by the news that FIFA is preparing to expel Zimbabwe from its membership due to the lack of seriousness displayed by the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) and the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) in reinstating Zimbabwe to the football family. This potential expulsion will have dire consequences for the football community in Zimbabwe and we urge the government to take immediate action to address this issue.
The potential expulsion from FIFA means that all Zimbabwean players, both local and foreign, will not be allowed to play football if they play outside of Zimbabwe. This will force their clubs to terminate their contracts, putting many talented athletes out of work and depriving them of the opportunity to showcase their skills and compete at the international level.
Furthermore, the Zimbabwe Football Association will be disbanded if Zimbabwe is expelled from FIFA, which will leave thousands of footballers and those who rely on soccer for their livelihoods jobless.
It is clearly known that football, just like any other sport, is an occupation that supports livelihoods, and names like Peter Ndlovu, Marvelous Nakamba, Benjani Mwaruwaru, among so many others, have benefitted from local soccer development to be international stars.
So, this development would be a devastating blow to the Zimbabwean football community, which has already been struggling due to the prolonged suspension.
The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition urges the government, through the Sports and Recreation Commission and the Zimbabwe Football Association, to take urgent steps to address the issues that have resulted in Zimbabwe's exclusion from the international football community. We call on the government to engage with FIFA in a constructive and collaborative manner to find a solution to this issue and ensure that Zimbabwean footballers are not deprived of the opportunity to compete at the highest level.
We also urge the government to provide support to those who will be affected by the potential expulsion to ensure that their livelihoods are protected.
We believe that this issue goes beyond football and speaks to the larger issue of Zimbabwe's standing in the international community.
It is time for the government to take a serious and proactive approach towards addressing the structural challenges that have given rise to this situation. Failure to do so will not only have immediate and devastating consequences for the football community, but also undermine the country's reputation and international standing in the long term.
The issues bedeviling our football fraternity points to failure on the part of our government and we implore the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe to urgently intervene in addressing this issue.
On several occasions the President has celebrated photo moments with players playing locally abroad and the impending expulsion of Zimbabwe by FIFA should be a call to duty for him.