Transparency promotes accountability, lawfulness

SOMETIME late last year, and also last March, an official of a local football club approached the Zifa office in Bulawayo asking for information on something rather innocuous and was asked to return in two days, the office simply needed time to collect the relevant papers from an official who was at his workplace.

On the Ball with Innocent Kurwa

On returning to the Zifa offices after two days, the official was told that such information could only be obtained from head office in Harare.

The official, in the hope of quickening the process, roped in a Zifa board member who, at first, said the information would be availed within a day or two.

For some reason, the board member became evasive thereafter and to date the information has not been availed.

The information related to rules and regulations governing the operations and licensing of player agents, information which is in the public domain, at least that of football, and should surely be available at all times to genuinely interested parties.

The more important and critical issue here is no longer the information, but the clear lack of transparency this incident shows.

Zifa administer the most popular sport in the country, a sport that also is a huge spinner of money and controversy in equal measure.

Soccer, given its very nature, attracts the interest and participation of all kinds of people and it is necessary that all those involved are aware of the rules and regulations that pertain to the various interests linked with football.
Where they are not aware, these rules and regulations should be readily available from Zifa.

In other words, there must be the highest degree of transparency at Zifa, not only of the day-to-day operations and running of the football controlling body but all the rules and regulations that govern the actions of all the various people involved in football.

Transparency is an integral aspect of best practice corporate governance which promotes accountability and lawfulness. Transparency also gives confidence to all those involved in football, confidence that even if they are transgressed against they have recourse to something they know well in advance and transparency is a way of minimising the risk, if not in fact eliminating it altogether, of getting involved in football in whatever role.

Where there is no transparency there is certainly no accountability as people involved have no benchmark to judge performance against. The lack of transparency at Zifa explains, to a very large extent, why Zimbabwe’s football is in a shambolic and parlous state.

The lack and retardation of development in football is certainly because there is no transparency. Stakeholders in football cannot hold the Zifa leadership accountable, simply because these stakeholders are completely in the dark as to what standards to expect from the Zifa leadership, all because of lack of transparency.

The news that Zifa are, at long last, returning to the work of amending its constitution, therefore, can only be music to the ears of those that pray and work for the honest and forward development of football in the country, those that are in football for the good of football and not for making a fast dollar.

If this constitution is going to be a foundation stone for the wellbeing of Zimbabwe’s football, the exercise of amending it must be done in a transparent manner and must involve all stakeholders not some handpicked friends of those running Zifa at present. The new constitution itself ought to have clauses that engender and promote transparency of the highest order.

Hopefully, the Fifa delegation that is in the country this week will also help Zifa on how to include aspects that promote transparency in the amended constitution.

One of the reasons why Zifa is not attracting corporate sponsorship is the lack of transparency in the organisation although the powers in Zifa are likely to deny this and argue that the only handicap they face is the economic meltdown the country has been going through.

Congratulations to Shabanie Mine, Platinum Stars, Monomotapa and Dynamos for making it to the semi-finals of the BancABC Sup8r tournament at the weekend and thanks to SuperSport for showing all the quarter-final ties live on television.

It is just unfortunate that the Sunday matches both had to be played at Gibo Stadium, Triangle, – taking one of the ties to a different venue would certainly have spread football to more people. It is appreciated that this situation is a result of logistical issues to do with screening the matches live on TV and we just have to live with the bad situation for the time being.

The COPA Coca Cola soccer championships for school boys and girls now move to the national level with Sakubva One High in Mutare hosting the finals from 11 to 14 this month.

The four boys under-16 pools are: A (Mzingwane, Ngezi Barracks and Zvishavane), B (Gaza, Hwange and Gifford), C (Sakubva One, Mwenezi and Chemhanza) and D (Gwanda, Howard and Churchill) while the girls under-17 pools are: A (Vainona, Selonga and Mosi-oa-Tunya), B (Sakubva One, Matinunura and Rutanhira), C (Sodbury, Masotsha and Mbare) and D (Rukweza, St Francis and Chidyamakono).

Nigeria and Ghana, the latter as one of the best third-placed qualifiers, are still flying Africa’s continental flag at the on-going Under-20 World Cup finals in Turkey after they reached the round of 16. Nigeria meet Uruguay in one of four matches set for today while Ghana take on Portugal tomorrow.

Brazil outwitted world champions Spain in the Confederations Cup final at the Maracana Stadium, Rio de Janeiro, yesterday morning. What a match it was, it was certainly worth waiting for beyond Sunday midnight.

The new-look Brazil team, if they can maintain their form going into the World Cup finals they host next year, will certainly be among the favourites to land the title.


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