HARARE—Businessman Phillip Chiyangwa was on Saturday elected ZIFA president after beating his nearest rival Trevor Carelse Juul by 27 votes.
Chiyangwa has replaced deposed Cuthbert Dube, who was ousted by the 58-member ZIFA Council, for failing to properly run football in Zimbabwe.
It remains to be seen what Chiyangwa will do to revive the country’s number one spot. He could not be drawn to comment about reviving Zimbabwean football though he is happy about his new position as per his post on Facebook. “Introducing to you the new ZiFa President, Dr Phillip Chiyangwa! Thank you to my campaign team, my family and all those who supported me! WE MADE IT.”
Losing candidate Carelse Juul posted a message on Facebook soon after the results of the election were announced.
He said, “With great sadness I announce, that we didn’t win what a shocking result. I would like to thank you for all your support and I’m sorry we have not been able to put into play all the things we discussed and implemented what we could have done to bring our beloved football back to its glory days .
“I would like to thank you for your amazing support which has been overwhelming and very special. It appears that the playing field has not been even and it seems that money rules in Zimbabwe football which is very sad. Even though the playing field was not even we did our best and thanks to all the football loving councillors that believed in us and gave us their support.”
He wished the football public all the best and “pray that one day soon our football will be transformed and we will see free and fair elections in Zimbabwe.”
Carelse Juul further said, “We (campaign groups) remain committed to the development of our nation and know that with the talent Zimbabwe has, one day we can become a great footballing nation. I am pleased we stepped up to the call from the people of Zimbabwe and have been prepared to play our part, even if we have not been given the chance to do so. God bless and thanks so much again.”
In the same election, Omega Sibanda got 34 votes while 23 councillors voted for his rival Lincoln Mutasa.
In a message on his Facebook page, Sibanda said, “Thanks to all the Zifa councillors, the football fans and the entire Zimbabwe football community for once again giving me the mandate to serve football as Zifa Vice President. As I promised before, I will fight to resuscitate our game & return Zimbabwe to its rightful status as one of the giants of Southern African teams.
“I will thrive to bring transparency, professionalism & integrity in our game. Oms is here to serve football and nothing more, your support & love will always be appreciated.”
Silent Kamambo, Edzai Kasinauyo, Phillip Mabhena and Philemon Machana were elected board members.