In last week's issue of The Sunday Mail, Zifa president Cuthbert Dube spoke exclusively to our Sports Editor Goodwill Zunidza concerning several football matters. The interesting part was when he challenged his would-be contestants to go live with him on public platforms like television and debate their ideas. Dube has since arrived in Sao Paulo, Brazil for a retreat of the 2013 Fifa Confederations Cup organising committee. Below is the rest of the interview. GZ: The Zifa Village is indeed receiving wide acclaim and I think we can welcome the fact that it will reduce costs of camping for national teams as you envisage. I suppose it can also house international football conferences. Is Issa Hayatou (the Caf president) still coming?
CD: Yes he wants to come, remember it is part of the plans we discussed at the indaba and the ministry said they will assist us to bid for the African Cup of Nations. We want to host not only Afcon, but also the other competitions for women and juniors.
That can be the build-up to hosting Afcon. But it is a multi-stakeholder approach that needs the involvement of other sectors. There is the element of roads, communications and hotels but I know we have got good hotels.
The Caf inspectors do not want to come here and find they can hardly communicate back to their countries. They also look at the stadia we have and this is where local authorities come in. The condition of some of our grounds is appaling. I saw some use buckets and helmets to scoop out rainwater from the pitch.
GZ: Let me now take you to the issue of national team coach. I am still to form my own opinion, but the majority voice seems to be urging you to recall Norman Mapeza. CD: Mapeza, if you remember, I really thought he was the person who could assist us, but unfortunately he got caught up in this Asiagate mess.
But my advise to Norman is that he must go and appeal. We have not looked at his case closer. But the best route for him is to seek a hearing with the Special Appeals Committee which is a very independent body.
In actual fact the names of some of them (Special Appeals Committee) were strange to many people, but they are very capable persons with extensive knowledge of legal issues on an international scale. GZ: Did you hear of a purported demonstration that was being planned against you at a football match in Bulawayo?
CD: I do not think there was anything like that. It is just some people who already want to start campaigning for the next elections. I hear people are already campaigning filthily. Very bad things are being done including character assasination, trying to manufacture fictitious stories against me.
It's not fair at all and they must be really careful because there is the issue of defamation. Some of them want to harbour people we have banned due to Asiagate. Well, such people will equally get banned so I am warning them. GZ: How do you view the domestic season that is just closing?
CD: It has been exciting and the fans heard our plea to come back to football matches. Before we came into office, you would have five people watching a match at Rufaro, 1 000 fans paying to watch big teams.
The situation was getting really, really sad. We must now continue building confidence in our football by being honest in everything we do as football people. There were some suspicious scorelines at the end of the season across many of the leagues and allegations of match-fixing.
We just have to come down hard on that. I have since asked for reports. We are serious about wiping out all dirty practices from Zimbabwe football. That is what has cost our game over many years, a lack of professional attitude to business. German coach Klaus-Dieter Pagels was announced as the new Warriors mentor last week but Zifa stressed the appointment is on an interim basis.