Zifa skipped government in Caf application for fans’ return
IT has emerged that Zifa did not follow protocol when applying to Caf for permission to allow a limited number of fans into the National Sports Stadium for Friday’s World Cup qualifier against South Africa.
Zifa had applied for 10 000 fully vaccinated fans to be allowed to watch Friday’s encounter.
However, Caf guidelines require that a member association must first secure its government’s approval before applying to the continental football governing body.
Instead, Zifa did the opposite and applied directly to Caf without seeking Government approval.
In a document emailed to all member associations on preparations and organisation of the Fifa World Cup matches between September 1-7, which Chronicle Sport gleaned, Caf stated that host associations wishing to have fans in the stadium should apply to Caf and attach a government letter of guarantee.
“According to Caf Covid-19 protocol, all matches are to be played without spectators. If the host association’s government approves that matches can be played with fans, the host federation must send a request to Caf before 20th of August 2021 in order to obtain approval from Caf. The request should be supported by a government letter guaranteeing the implementation of all the Covid-19 precautions,” reads the Caf email to its member associations.
But Zifa spokesperson Xolisani Gwesela insisted that protocol required them to first make a request to Caf and once approval has been granted, they then approach the Government.
“Listen, there is a procedure and that procedure is to get Caf authorisation first then you take that to the government for them to approve. The first port of call is Caf; government requires Caf authorisation first,” said Gwesela.
When informed that Chronicle Sport was in possession of a Caf document clearly stating that all applications by associations for fans to be allowed into stadia must be accompanied by a government letter of guarantee, Gwesela said Caf only relayed the information on Monday, long after Zifa had submitted its application.
Gwesela said what necessitated Caf to turn down their request was the issue of bucket seats at the National Sports Stadium, not failure to follow protocol.
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