Connect with us

Support The NewsHawks


Fifa pressured to end Zim stalemate



FIFA will now hasten investigation into alleged sexual harassment in Zimbabwean football, as part of a global blitz that has reached nearly all four corners of the world, amid media accusations that the world football governing body has “gone silent” over the assault reports in the African country. 


Impeccable sources locally and abroad have told The NewsHawks that high-ranked officials at the Zurich-based organisation were left “rather embarrassed and disheartened” by a report last week in The Guardian that Fifa has dragged its feet over detailed reports of improper sexual conduct by some influential male bosses of the Zimbabwe referees’ body, towards female match officers.

Sexual harassment of female referees is one of the charges levelled against the board of Zimbabwe’s football federation, Zifa, which was suspended by the country’s Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) in November.

Zifa’s expulsion left Zimbabwe under threat of an international ban, since the SRC is a government-appointed body, and the Fifa bureaucrats normally react swiftly and decisively when officials of a member association are subjected to such sanctions in their home countries. 

Nearly three months later, Fifa has not yet intervened in the Zimbabwe stalemate, despite a thinly-veiled threat in December to take action if the Zifa board was not reinstated by 3 January this year.

It has now been established however that the unique case of Zifa’s ban – as Fifa sits on a dossier containing graphic detail of unwanted sexual approaches from male superiors — has prompted football’s international governing body to carefully examine the reports before making a firm decision.

But a worsening constitutional crisis due to a widening rift between the expelled Zifa officials – those fighting the suspension on one side, and those who have accepted their fate on the other – has now left Fifa “seized of the matter” according to the sources. 

Pressure is also increasingly being brought to bear on Fifa in the wake of growing reports of sexual harassment in world football. The online edition of The Guardian, a leading British daily newspaper, has taken particular interest in the developments and has serialised stories of this nature.

On Thursday, it reported that “Fifa will request more details about the appointment of a coach accused of sexually abusing and harassing female players in Barbados after it was suggested that he was given “positive recommendations” to take over as director of football in St Kitts and Nevis by the president of the Barbados Football Association.”

The coach, Ahmed Mohamed, is a former Somalia defender who has previously taken charge of Barbados and the British Virgin Islands. He was appointed to his new post in September by the head of the twin islands’ national football federation, Atiba Harris.

While the circumstances are different in Zimbabwe’s case, the one thing in common — sexual harassment — has presented an unforeseen worldwide challenge to Fifa.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *