Chiyangwa isn't losing any sleep

Chiyangwa isn't losing any sleep
Published: 22 January 2018 (440 Views)
ZIFA president Philip Chiyangwa says he isn't losing any sleep about the possibility of not extending his stay as the leader of domestic football by another four years because he feels he is standing on a strong foundation to retain his post. The Harare property mogul even believes his presence and what he has achieved since taking over from the deposed Cuthbert Dube is pushing the would-be challengers into a shell leaving them in a quandary.

Unlike previous ZIFA presidential elections, where a number of potential candidates would have thrown their names into the hat by now, no one has publicly declared his intentions to take on Chiyangwa in the race he won comfortably the last time around.

Such was the nature of his comprehensive victory he would still have been declared the winner of the race if he had donated a fifth of his votes to the nearest challenger Trevor Carelse-Juul even in an event the South Africa-based businessman had also received the five votes that went to Leslie Gwindi and James Takavada.

Chiyangwa got 40 of the 58 votes cast that day, which represented 68.9 percent of the vote, with Carelse-Juul, who also lost to Dube in the previous poll, getting just 13 votes while Gwindi received three votes and Takavada just one.

No one voted for the other candidate, Aces Youth Soccer Academy director Nigel Munyati. If a fifth of those who vaoted against him, eight, had gone to Carelse-Juul, and those who also voted for Gwindi and Takavada (4) had gone for the South Africa-based architect, Chiyangwa would still have comfortably won that election.

And the Harare tycoon feels the gap between him and the rest of the chasing pack remains huge and might even have extended during his rein as the ZIFA boss for him to spark any fears of a possible election upset later this year. "What l can tell you is that l am at peace with myself right now when it comes to this ZIFA election business because I know exactly what l have done and what l am doing in terms of my re-election plan," said Chiyangwa.

"I am actually in a better position right now than what was the case in the first election when l was a newboy to the politics of our football compared to the case right now. Of course, it's an election year and a lot will be said about this and that, which is quite normal, but l know what l am doing, what l have covered and what needs to be done to win this election with even a bigger margin if there are any challengers at all.

"That is why l have declared my interests early while all you are getting from the other end are ghost characters without names and faces who are said to be preparing to take me on when the elections come along. I am know the good work that we have done is being appreciated by those who matter when it comes to these elections, the ZIFA Councillors, who trusted me to do this job when they made that intervention to save our game by revoking the mandate of the Dube leadership which had crippled our football."

Chiyangwa said they deserve credit for somehow running an organisation that was effectively on life support crippled by a mountain of debt running into millions of dollars and coming into office at a time when they only had a month to save the country's 2022 World Cup campaign.

"In just under a month we had saved our 2022 World Cup campaign by paying off Tom Saintfiet an amount which was about three times the amount which the previous executive failed to pay in more than four years to Valinhos leading to our unfortunate expulsion from the 2018 World Cup qualifiers," said Chiyangwa.

"That is what real leadership is all about, unlocking value where others don't see anything at all, and that's what makes people who make important decisions, like voting for a ZIFA leader, see value in you. It still pains me that some people never have our group of talented boys a chance to try and fight for a place at the World Cup finals which will be held in Russia this year just because they could not raise about $68 000 in more than four years while they were ready to pay a photographer about $30 000 for pictures of themselves and the chief executive back then cannot account for $700 000 and no one is making noise about that.

"Look at how our boys dominated the weekend in South Africa, everywhere you looked, it was our players scoring goals and these are the guys that we didn't give a chance and that hurts a lot and those are issues we should be debating as a country so that it won't happen again."

Chiyangwa said his battles to win the COSAFA presidency, the lead role he played in finally bringing an end to Issa Hayatou's lengthy stay as CAF boss and backing Gianni Infantino in his successful bid for the FIFA presidency has provided him with more ammunition about running a successful poll. "It's been a learning curve and l know what is required and l have dealt with tougher battles in the past few years and all l can say is that bring it on and let's see what happens at the end," he said.

"I have some unfinished business here and let's see how it all unfolds but l am content and ready for anything or anyone. "Our democracy means that challengers are allowed but let's see who will come along."

- zimpapers

Tags: Chiyangwa, Sleep, Zifa,
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