Zimbabwe FA Elects New Boss

26 March 2006 at 03:18 | 617 views

Steve Vickers
BBC Sport, Harare

Wellington Nyatanga(photo) has been elected as the new chairman of the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa).

Nyatanga, who beat Cuthbert Dube by 17 votes to eight, takes over from Rafik Khan, who was jailed earlier this month.

Saturday’s elections mark the end of a 15-month Fifa plan aimed at ending the political troubles in the Zimbabwean game.

A longstanding dispute between two factions within Zifa had seen Zimbabwe at risk of a ban from the world governing body.

"We’re happy that the process of the roadmap ended today," said Ashford Mamelodi, Fifa’s development officer for Africa, who oversaw the elections.

"We want to believe that this has cleansed the system and you will all forget the troubles."

Nyatanga, a former chairman of the premier league, has called on all stakeholders in Zimbabwean football to close ranks and work together.

"I’d like to see total unity within football, we need to work as a team, government included," he said.

"My priority is qualification for the 2008 Nations Cup."

The new Zifa board members are expected to attend a training course to be organised by the government-run Sports Commission in April.

This follows criticism from state president Robert Mugabe, who had accused Zifa of mismanaging the game in the Southern African country.