FIFA – Sexual harassment: a former Zimbabwean official sanctioned
A former Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) official has been banned from the sport for five years and fined 20,000 Swiss francs for sexually harassing three female referees.
Fifa’s ethics committee has found Obert Zhoya, who was secretary general of Zifa’s referees commission, guilty of “abusing his position”.
Zhoya’s suspension is effective immediately and he will be notified of the reasons for the decision within 60 days.
His fine is just over $20,300 (13,339,218 FCFA) and he has yet to comment on the decision.
“After a careful analysis of the written statements of the victims as well as the various evidence gathered during the investigations carried out, the judicial chamber was comfortably convinced that Mr. Zhoya had violated [trois articles du] code of ethics,” reads a statement on FIFA’s website.
Zimbabwe were banned from world football by Fifa in February due to government interference in the running of the game.
The sanction came after the Zifa board was suspended by the government-appointed Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) in November last year.
The alleged sexual harassment of referees was one of the main reasons for the suspension of the Zifa board by the CBC, and the case against Zhoya is the first to go to trial.
Earlier this year, The Guardian newspaper reported that allegations of sexual harassment by Zhoya were first reported in Zimbabwe in September 2020.
Two of the alleged victims, both referees, have formally registered their complaints with the Zifa board and the allegations have also been sent to Fifa, the Confederation of African Football (Caf) and the Council of African Football Associations australia (Cosafa).
It was not until the alleged victims reported the facts to the police, in December 2021, that a formal investigation was launched.
“Fifa has a strict stance against all forms of abuse in football and the ethics committee treats all such cases in accordance with the code of ethics, taking into account the specificity of each,” the statement from Fifa adds. .
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