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ENGLISH VERSION

AFCON 2021: Zimbabwe's misfortunes could expel them from the competition

CAN 2021: le Zimbabwe pourrait dire adieu à la Coupe d’Afrique au Cameroun
AFCON 2021: Zimbabwe's misfortunes could expel them from the competition

A scene which clearly indicates government interference with FA activities is a real course for concern for the Zimbabwean national football team. The Warriors are no longer guaranteed to participate in the 2021 AFCON in Cameroon. Following the decision of its government to suspend the Football Association for "fraud and sexual harassment", Zimbabwe could in turn be suspended by FIFA and be deprived of the next continental showpiece which they qualified for.

Misfortunes could befall Zimbabwean football. The Zimbabwean national team is in danger of missing out of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon. The reason is a political decision. The SRC, the equivalent of the Ministry of Sport, has decided to suspend the board of the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) on the grounds that "female referees" have been subjected to "fraud" and "sexual harassment" by ZIFA's technical staff.

After announcing the news to the press on Tuesday 16 November, SRC president Gerald Mlotshwa said his country was ready to face the consequences of such a decision. FIFA, which does not tolerate the intrusion of politicians and/or politics in the affairs of national federations, has not yet reacted. But the reaction of the world body, which is against any interference of state authorities in the management of sports associations, should not be long coming.

Zambia could benefit
The Zimbabwean Federation could then be suspended by FIFA, leading to its exclusion from the 2021 African Cup of Nations. However, such a sanction does not yet seem to alarm the SRC's directors: "We will always consider it a short-term measure. If it takes us a year, two years and we are excluded from international football, I think that's fine and everyone accepts it," said Gerald Mlotshwa as quoted by RFI.

If Zimbabwe are excluded, Zambia, who finished third in Pool H of the qualifiers behind the Warriors and Algeria, could inherit the AFCON qualification place and join Senegal, Guinea and Malawi in Pool D.

 

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