Fifa even said there has never been any development to try and appeal against its disciplinary committee’s decision to bar the country from participating in the qualifiers for the global showpiece set for Russia.
The Zimbabwean delegation comprised former chairmen Leo Mugabe and Vincent Pamire with Zifa legal advisor Ralph Maganga being part of the technical committee which also had two representatives from the government.
“Give me a shout next week Monday, I must be in a position to comment on that,” said the delegate.
However, a Fifa spokesperson yesterday sang a different tune. “We’re not aware of any accomplished visit linked to the final and binding decision of the Fifa Disciplinary Committee. In any case, there hasn’t been any development in the matter,” said the Fifa spokesperson.
According to the Sport and Recreation Minister Makhosini Hlongwane, Zimbabwe’s reasons for appeal were three-fold.
Minister Hlongwane said, at the time of announcing the bid, the government believed the action was so harsh as to induce a sense of shock among players who still have a shelf life in football with the four years likely to be half of that shelf life for some of the players.
He said the consuming public has been hard done by the ban.
“Also last October there was a meeting, whose minutes are minuted where Fifa pledged $2 million to Zifa, money which could have been used to offset the Valinhos debt but just four to five months after that, Zimbabwe was banned from participating in the qualifiers despite the fact the Fifa hadn’t even fulfilled its pledge so in a way, Zimbabwe’s expectations of extinguishing the debt were now very high as a result of the pledge,” said Minister Hlongwane early this month.
He added that it was common knowledge that Fifa is interested in football development but when Zimbabwe gets banned, that development, shared by the government of Zimbabwe too, will not happen.