Kamambo FIFA Trip Blocked

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By Mary Taruvinga

SUSPENDED Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) president Felton Kamambo and board member finance Phillemon Machana will miss a FIFA congress to be held next week in Doha, Qatar after the dismissal of their application requesting the temporary release of their passports by Harare magistrate Stanford Kambanje.

Kamambo and Machana are facing criminal charges together with Zifa chief executive officer Mamutse and Brighton Malandule.

The magistrate said Zimbabwe is already prepared to suffer the consequences by FIFA, hence there is no prejudice if they failed to attend.

He also said their allegations emanated from communicating with FIFA.

Their lawyer, Admire Rubaya, had tried to convince the court that if they are released the two would get a chance to help the country by convincing the FIFA not to give a full ban on Zimbabwe Football.

Rubaya had also asked the court to allow the two to communicate with FIFA and to suspend reporting conditions.

The lawyer said Zimbabwe football authorities have been given up to March 31 to review their suspension of ZIFA board and failure a fully-fledged ban will be affected.

“By 31 March, Zimbabwe is risking being fully banned which will have consequences to the country. The accused will go to bridge the dispute with FIFA so that the country cannot be banned for long. They must be allowed to save Zimbabwean soccer. The state had not responded to our letter,” Rubaya argued.

“Right now there is a soccer international break but Zimbabwe is not participating. The accused are elected officials and FIFA said they can only speak to Kamambo and Machana, whether they like it or not if they want to save soccer, they should let these accused persons attend the FIFA meeting,” Rubaya said.

“They are prepared to be accompanied by any state official in order to allay fears that they will advocate for more bans. If they are not allowed to travel the ban will be effected and those games like Dynamos or Highlanders they would be boozers. We don’t want to cripple individuals like players because there is someone who hates Kamambo and Machana,” he further said.

“Even if the Dynamos, Highlanders or Caps United football club wins the league they will not be able to play in Caf cups but will end up being boozers. Even referees will not get assignments outside Zimbabwe, they will be refereeing boozers.”

The magistrate said it does not matter.

The State represented by Kennedy Madekutsikwa had opposed the application saying the two must not be allowed to leave the country on FIFA business.

“The SRC appointed a restructuring committee that will serve the functions of Zifa committee if the court grants them it will result in further conflict to suspend the Zifa executive,” Madekutsikwa said.

The state submitted that the variation of bail conditions is not necessary, is not also in the interest of justice.