Bungling ZIFA fined over Mighty Warriors’ boycott

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By Sports Reporter

WORLD football governing body, FIFA has sanctioned Zimbabwe after the country’s national women’s football team boycotted the second leg of its second round tie of the African Women’s Olympic Qualifiers against Zambia on September 1.

The match was scheduled to be played at the National Sports Stadium following a 5-0 first-leg loss in Lusaka.

However, the hosts did not show up as its players protested over unpaid match fees and bonuses dating back to the COSAFA Women’s Championships hosted by South Africa in July.

The match officials and Zambia players turned up for the match and performed their customary warm-ups on the pitch.

However, their Zimbabwean opponents were nowhere to be seen as ZIFA failed to assembly a team to complete the fixture.

Domestic league sides reportedly withdrew their players from camp on the eve of the match over non-payment of appearance fees and bonuses to their players by Zifa.

FIFA on Friday confirmed that it had ordered ZIFA to pay Swiss Francs (CHF) 10000 [US$ 10,091.70] while Zimbabwe also forfeits three points and three goals to the Shepolopolo for the Mighty Warriors’ failure to honour the match.

“The FIFA Disciplinary Committee found the Zimbabwe Football Association responsible for the infringement of the relevant provisions of the Regulations for the Olympic Football Tournaments Games of the XXXII Olympiad Tokyo 2020 related to withdrawal (art. 7 par. 1) and of the FIFA Disciplinary Code related to unplayed matches and abandonment (art. 14),” FIFA said in a statement.

“The FIFA Disciplinary Committee declares the match of the Women’s Olympic Qualifiers that was scheduled to be played between Zimbabwe and Zambia on 1 September 2019 to be lost by forfeit by Zimbabwe (0-3).

“The FIFA Disciplinary Committee orders the Zimbabwe Football Association to pay a fine to the amount of CHF 10,000. In application of art. 6 par. 1 a) of the FIFA Disciplinary Code, the Zimbabwe Football Association is warned on its future conduct. The above fine is to be paid within thirty (30) days of notification of the present decision.”

The Mighty Warriors have also dropped nine places to 111th (and 13th in Africa) in the world ranking released on Friday while Zambia leapfrogged them to 110th in the world 12th on the continent.