Malaysia FA: ZIFA lacks respect
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|Malaysia FA blasts ZIFA deception|
|by: Sports Reporters|
THE Football Association of Malaysia last night accused the Zimbabwe Football Association of lacking respect and questionable integrity after it was duped into believing Monomotapa were the Zimbabwe national team.
Monomotapa arrived in Malaysia last Saturday and played two “international” friendly matches with the hosts.
Malaysia, ranked 157th in the world, won the first friendly 4-0 on Sunday, followed up with a 1-0 victory on Tuesday.
As our exclusive pictures show, Malaysian television, the FA of Malaysia (FAM) and newspapers all thought Rodwell Dhlakama’s men were the national team based on ZIFA letters CONFIRMING just that.
Malaysia coach K. Rajagopal said: “I was told that this is the Zimbabwean national team. I will need to check on this and only then can I speak my mind over the matter.”
Confronted by Malaysian journalists, FAM general secretary Datuk Azzudin Ahmad said: “Look at this letter and tell me what you understand from it. It states clearly they are sending their national side.
“From one national FA to another, there has to be mutual respect. When we are told that this is their national team, we take their word for it. We do not question it because that would be questioning their integrity.”
That letter was signed by ZIFA CEO Henrietta Rushwaya who told New Zimbabwe.com on Wednesday that she was on leave when the trip was arranged.
“Somebody could have written that letter from my office. It could be possible my office cleared them. We cannot rule that out,” Rushwaya said.
Later, she told Thursday’s Herald: “Having looked at the Warriors programme and felt that the national team really had nothing to benefit from these matches, and in view of the fact that the invitation came late for ZIFA to put together a team, we extended the invitation to Monomotapa because they were the ones who would benefit more in light of their Champions League assignments.”
Keeping up the deception, Monomotapa used the national team strip in the two friendly matches. On the FAM website, the matches continue to be described as “against Zimbabwe” and there is no reference to Monomotapa.
Rushwaya said the use of the national team strip was unacceptable, telling New Zimbabwe.com: “Heads will roll.”
Monomotapa also face action from the Premier Soccer League (PSL) after they failed to turn up for their league match against Highway on Sunday.
PSL secretary general Kennedy Ndebele said: “If a club wants to tour, they write to us, and we apply on their behalf to ZIFA. ZIFA also gets clearance from the Sports and Recreation Commission.
“They are then given a head of delegation, usually a member of the ZIFA assembly. I don’t know who their head of delegation was. I can confirm, however, that we got notice from them late on Friday, and it was too late to cancel their match.
“So we have asked them to provide us a report giving reasons why they did not play Highway.”
Monomotapa treasurer Bhekithemba Ndlovu, returning from Malaysia, said they had been invited by ZIFA to go on the trip which would aid their preparations for Sunday’s Champions League clash with Etoile du Sahel.
He defended their use of the national team strip, claiming they were “representing the country”.
He said: “We acknowledged that this was no ordinary friendly match in which a club was playing a national team ... We then took it upon ourselves that we could use the national colours.
"When we go out of the country for the Champions League, the fans who come to watch our matches and cheer us are not the usual Monomotapa fans . . . they will be waving the Zimbabwean flag and will be dressed in national colours because they appreciate the fact that we will be representing the country.
"We believe we were right to use that kit and we believe we did everything above board.”
The yellow and green strip was a replica kit purchased from a Harare sports shop, he said.
Story from : NEWZIMBABWE.COM NEWS:
Published On: Thursday, July 16, 2009 2:19 AM GMT
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