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FIFA Lift Ban On Zimbabwe1 min read

FIFA Lift Ban On Zimbabwe<span class="wtr-time-wrap after-title"><span class="wtr-time-number">1</span> min read</span>
FIFA have lifted the suspension on the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) after 17 months following government interference in football affairs.

The world governing body has also formed an interim committee, which is meant to get the country’s football back on track within a year. By the June 30, 2024 deadline, the committee is expected to restructure ZIFA, review its statutes, and hold elections for an executive board.

Zimbabwe were banned in February 2022 as a result of an intervention by the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC), a government-initiated commission which violated FIFA’s third-party influence restriction.

Due to that, the country could not participate in the qualifiers for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations and the 2024 Women’s Afcon, among other major FIFA-sanctioned competitions.

“I want to assure Zimbabwe that you have the complete support of Fifa and of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) in ensuring that Zimbabwean football reaches the heights we’ve all desired,” Solomon Mudege, FIFA’s head of development in Africa, said at a news conference in Harare on Tuesday.

This means Zimbabwe will be included in the draw for the African qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup slated for Wednesday.

Because the reasons for the third-party intervention included alleged sexual harassment of female referees by ZIFA technical staff, FIFA have also asked the interim committee to collaborate on a better procedure to address such matters in the future without interference.

Meanwhile, FIFA took the matter upon themselves in September 2022 to suspend former ZIFA official Obert Zhoya for five years after finding him guilty of sexual harassment victimising three female referees.

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