Harare - The world's football mother body, FIFA, has dismissed attempts by the Zimbabwe Football Association to recall COSAFA president, Philip Chiyangwa from the regional bloc.
There has been friction between Chiyangwa, who was the ZIFA president until he was dislodged in an election in December last year, and the current association's administration led by Felton Kamambo.
Things came to a head in the aftermath of the Africa Cup of Nations held in June-July in Egypt where the Zimbabwe Warriors failed to give a decent fight.
As the country sought answers to that disaster, whose humiliating proportions were underlined by a 0-4 hiding by the DR Congo as they exited the group stages with only a point, accusations and counter-accusations were traded.
Chiyangwa was fingered as an orchestrator of the disaster as Kamambo and his board alleged that the COSAFA president wanted to topple them.
Subsequently, ZIFA wrote to the regional football confederation threatening to even withdraw if Chiyangwa wasn't expelled.
They copied their correspondence to both the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and FIFA.
But COSAFA as well as CAF quickly brushed ZIFA's bid aside and the ball had been left in FIFA's court.
But Zimbabwe's football administration was dealt a body blow after FIFA wrote to COSAFA advising them to instead let Chiyangwa find a lasting solution to the problems bedevellling Zimbabwean football.
In a letter released by COSAFA advising stakeholders, FIFA described Chiyangwa’s life ban by ZIFA as a nullity.
"We refer to correspondence sent by ZIFA to our MAs during the month of July 2019 and the discussion that took place at COSAFA's consultation meeting in Cairo on July 17th regarding allegations made by the Zimbabwe Football Association against the president of COSAFA, Dr Philip Chiyangwa. Subsequent to that meeting and as a consequent of that meeting, it was decided that a fact-finding mission would be deployed in an attempt, within the COSAFA family, to find an amicable way forward.
"FIFA are of the opinion that the ban served on Dr Chiyangwa (Philip) is a nullity as due process was not followed.
"Dr Chiyangwa has been mandated to find, in consultation with the Zimbabwe Football Association, the Sports and Recreation Commission and the Government of Zimbabwe, a long lasting solution to the ongoing problems," read part of the letter.
Chiyangwa had been banned for life by ZIFA along with the association's competitions board member, Chamu Chiwanza.
A critic and freelance journalist, Hope Chizuzu, had also been banned in the purge.