The Zimbabwe Women Football Premier League clubs have come out guns blazing against Zifa which they say is peddling lies and falsehoods which are misleading the nation.
The spokespersons Wilbert Rambanapasi and Peter Gonyora said reports being spread around that they are disrupting the Mighty Warriors training is false.
“We are very much supportive of national duty hence our release of the players to the national team. Zifa wrote to us the owners of the game, the clubs to say we want the players and we released our players. If we did not support the game we would just hold on to the players.”
“The issue which is getting to the nation is we are disrupting the training. We wrote to Zifa to say we support national football and we released the players. We told them that we would also want these players to come back and play league games which are our core business. We did this in accordance to the FIFA rules which state that a player can be released from the national team to fulfill club games seven days before a match and we did this on time. It was seven days before so we don’t see where we are disrupting the national team,” Rambanapasi told H-Metro.
Rambanapasi highlighted that Miriam Sibanda is also being put on the centre of the issue.
“There’s an issue being highlighted that Miriam Sibanda is telling us how to run our football or disrupting the flow of national women training which is a big lie! Games in the league have nothing to do with Miriam Sibanda. These people were suspended and have nothing to do with us. We are running the league, as clubs. Zifa doesn’t want us to play as highlighted by Omega Sibanda who called us and said that we should stop playing and he will advise us on the next step next week. It has been more than two weeks since he called and he hasn’t come back to us,” Rambanapasi added.
H-Metro is in possession of the phone conversation that Rambanapasi mentioned.
“When the word came we should stop playing we devised a plan and decided to come up with our league whilst waiting on Zifa to advise on the way forward. Over the past two years Zifa hasn’t organized a league to be played just politics. If we didn’t play we didn’t see ourselves having a league.”
Gonyora established that most of the girls that are playing in the club administered league are employed purely to play football.
“Most of these teams are from institutions and most of the kids are not qualified to be working in those institutions hence they are employed as footballers and as clubs that run football if we stop them they will be fired.
Most of those kids are employed purely to play football. If we say they should stop playing they will go on the streets. We are not fighting anyone we are only interested in playing football. For the national team to be there, clubs have to be there and play. If they say we should stop playing then where is the national coach going to get the players from.”
Gonyora also questioned why Zifa keeps referring to them as a parallel league or unsponsored league.
“People don’t understand these institutions are pumping out money we need for transport, training facilities and referees week in week out and these are monies coming from companies and government institutions. I don’t know what they mean when they say we are a social league.”
“Zifa wrote a letter to the referees association telling them to stop refereeing our games and we then engaged the retired referees to officiate our games games and they agreed after listening to the plight of the girl child.”
Rambanapasi chipped in stating that Zifa has been reportedly saying that the clubs were endangering the girls as they are not able to be taken care of if they are injured.
“Zifa has not taken care of the girls who have been injured and we can prove that. Rutendo Makore was injured during a national team match and it is Black Rhinos Queens taking care of her right now. The same can be said for Rudo Neshamba and Rufaro Machingura. Some injuries are serious that they need a bone specialist but once the game is over Zifa ignores and dumps the player and the clubs engage the players and when the player is fit and in great shape they claim them to be theirs.”
“This Zifa has never given us money or our FIFA grants. They have never given us. We challenge Zifa to say if they have given a ball or our grants they should stand up, even the cone which costs a dollar.”
“They want to mislead the nation to think that Zifa is doing something good for the girl child. Yes we haven’t registered our league with Zifa yet but we have finally completed our constitution which we will register with Zifa and we are prepared to give it to anyone.”
“We will find our own executive to run with. We are not interested to run with Miriam Sibanda and those suspended and they have their own court cases. No person will approach Miriam to say can you lead women football when they know that they have their own court cases. We wanted to meet Zifa and wrote to Philip Chiyangwa and he never wanted to meet us. No games were played the whole of 2015, no women games were organised by Zifa but we organised ourselves and the clubs and they qualified and right now we are saying we have to have a competitive league.”