THE Government has settled former Warriors coach Jose ‘Valinhos’ Claudinei debt which resulted in the country being banned by Fifa from taking part in the preliminary round of the 2018 Russia World Cup qualifiers.
The Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC), the operating arm of the Ministry of Sport and Recreation, paid $83, 500 on Monday to Valinhos through his lawyers.
The ministry also paid $1, 500 to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), in Zurich, Switzerland as an appeal fee for re-admission although the period given for such a decision long lapsed.
Zifa lawyer Ralph Maganga and a team of government lawyers are due to leave for Zurich to present their case, but will have to wait for CAS to give them a hearing date, if they deem their case to merit an emergency hearing.
Zimbabwe were banned in March for failing to settle a $61, 000 debt owed to the former coach after he was fired following a doomed 2010 Africa Cup of Nations and World Cup campaign and the figure rose to $81 000 due to legal costs and interests.
The 2018 World Cup qualifiers started last weekend and Zimbabwe, out of the 54 African nations, is the only country on the continent not participating because of the ban.
Sport minister Makhosini Hlongwane is confident that the ban will be lifted and Zimbabwe given a chance to enter the campaign.
Valinhos was brought in by the Wellington Nyatanga –led administration, which had taken office in 2006 and given a specific mandate of leading the Warriors to the Afcon and World Cup finals, but failed dismally after registering only two wins in the joint qualifiers.
After Valinhos was shown the door he took up his matter with the Fifa Disciplinary Committee which proclaimed that his contract had been illegally terminated.
Between 2010 and 2014, Zifa failed to agree to a settlement deal and eventually the Fifa DC was left with no choice but to ban Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe faces another lawsuit with another former coach Tom Sainfiet who is claiming $150, 000 after a short stint with the Warriors which is also threatening the country’s participation in the 2022 World Cup set for Qatar.
Saintfiet was deported for working without a work permit in contravention of Zimbabwe’s Immigration laws and Hlongwane feels that he violated the country’s laws and thus they cannot be forced to pay off someone who was at fault.Advertisement
What’s even more embarrassing for Zimbabwe is that the newest country in the Fifa family-South Sudan is taking part in the 2018 Russia World Cup qualifiers.