Gumede U-turns on Zifa term

ONE of Zimbabwe’s most decorated football administrators, Zifa vice-president (administration) Ndumiso Gumede, is not quitting football anytime soon.

REPORT BY FORTUNE MBELE

Gumede will be seeking another term as the country’s football governing body’s vice-president, come elections next year.

The veteran football administrator yesterday told Southern Eye Sport that his recent appointment to Confederation of African Football (Caf) Appeals Board committees had prompted him to seek another term with Zifa.

“Caf has appointed me to their appeals committee, but you see I have been telling people that I want to leave football. But because of that appointment by Caf, it is only prudent that I seek re-election. I am better off inside the system.

“I have had to reconsider.

“The interests of football will be better served while I am in the system than from the bush. I am beginning to campaign,” Gumede said.

Gumede was recently appointed to the Caf appeals committee while president Cuthbert Dube, who has previously said he has unfinished business in football and is obviously seeking another term, was appointed to the Caf Under-20 Championships committee.

Those appointments run until 2015.

In February last year, at a Nyaradzo Funeral Assurance Zimbabwe Soccer Referees’ Association clinic in Bulawayo, Gumede intimated that he would be leaving the world’s most popular sport in two years.

Gumede said he had overstayed his welcome in football.

“I am giving myself two more years in this industry then I am giving up football for good. I have overstayed and it is time I give the opportunity to others. If you nurture your career path and do things in a professional manner, you will not regret it.

“I have been privileged to officiate in a number of countries in Africa. There are about only 10 countries that I have not visited,” Gumede had said then.

But it is the Caf job that has made Gumede rethink his position on quitting football.

He led a committee which unraveled the Asiagate scandal that saw over 100 football players, Zifa officials and coaches receiving various censure ranging from suspension to banishment from all football activities.

At one time during the Asiagate investigations, the veteran football administrator, travelled from Bulawayo to Harare dressed like a woman in apparent disguise claiming there were some elements who were after his life.

Gumede, a former school teacher who bounced back to Zifa in March 2010, has held many positions in football that include being chairman of Highlanders Football Club, where he acquired the club’s biggest assets — an office in town, a clubhouse and a camping house in the high-density suburb of Luveve, nicknamed Hotel California.

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