Zimbabwe FA investigating women’s team coach over sexual misconduct allegations


The Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) has acknowledged that it is looking into claims of sexual misconduct against female teammates made against a senior member of its women’s coaching staff.

According to The Guardian, the accusations are related to several alleged occurrences in South Africa during the current Council of Southern African Football Associations (Cosafa) women’s tournament. They include charges that the coach “asked for sexual favors” and extended improper invites to his room, made for the first time this week in a story by London-based writer Melody Gwenyambira.

A Zifa statement from Thursday stated, “The Zimbabwe Football Association has received a report of misconduct among members of the senior women’s technical team.” “A competent safeguarding officer investigating the situation is traveling with us.

The association has a negative opinion of the situation and conducts independent investigations to learn the truth about the accusations. The general public is warned that this is a delicate matter and should refrain from taking rash actions that can jeopardize the investigations.

Gwenyambira claims that there are significant worries about the impacted individuals’ mental health due to the allegations. After being “verbally harassed and degraded” in front of others, a female technical team member reportedly departed one of the team sessions in tears. She is said to have avoided the alleged coach, who is still staying at the same hotel despite the allegations being public on Tuesday, by refusing to eat with the rest of the team.

After the Zimbabwean government suspended Zifa due to financial issues and claims of sexual harassment of female referees by technical personnel, Fifa banned Zimbabwe from international football for over 18 months. Obert Zhoya, the former secretary general of Zifa’s referees committee, was found guilty of sexually harassing female officials in September. After a Guardian investigation, he was given a five-year suspension from any football-related activity.

The embargo on Zimbabwe was removed in July, but Zifa is still governed by a normalization committee charged with reorganizing the group. In addition, a partnership agreement between the government and Zifa will be established, which “will define the responsibilities and objectives of each party, including the topic of sexual harassment,” according to a Fifa statement that announced the removal of Zimbabwe’s ban in July.

Members of the normalization committee have reportedly been in contact with Fifa’s safety and child protection unit to inquire about Zifa’s probe.


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