The excellent Said and Done column in the Guardian this weekend tells the story of how the “King of Selfies” is now the new head of the Zimbabwean Football Association.
Phillip Chiyangwa is the nephew of Robert Mugabe, and last week he won a landslide vote to become the new head of football in the country.
Chiyangwa polled 40 votes, beating his opponents Trevor Carelse-Juul (13), Leslie Gwindi (2) and former national team player James Takavada (1).
As you might have expected, Chiyangwa is a filthy rich controversial character, who many accuse of having bribed and corrupted his way into power.
Earlier in the race for the job, Chiyangwa argued that he was been victimised for his wealth and good looks.
The self-proclaimed ‘King of Selfies’ has also been known to show off his lavish lifestyle on YouTube.
After he won the election, Chiyangwa made the following remarks:
I am in. What I want now is to show people what I have been saying all along. What I am asking for is for all those candidates that have lost to come in so that we can work together for the good of the game. They lost the election, but not the chance to give us their ideas to move forward as a unit.
Chiyangwa has also openly paid off footballers in the Zimbabwean team large sums of cash after his election win. But that doesn’t mean he bribed his way into power, says the man himself:
I promised that I would chip in with money if they won and I am donating $10 000 to the players. I hope it boosts their morale, I know funds have been scarce at Zifa… There is nothing wrong, it’s just a donation… I have the money.
Obviously, Fifa’s interim president Issa Hayatou has welcomed the newest member to African football, saying:
CAF is confident that your experience, know-how, and leadership will benefit football in Zimbabwe and allow its durable development.
So what’s Chiyangwa’s first order of business in the job?
Take a three week vacation, duh!
I am going on leave forthwith. I would be back towards the end of December; I am sure a lot of you want to play soccer in 2022. So I am going around to try and do some fund raising to pay Tom Saintfiet (former Warriors coach) and compete in 2022.
Who doesn’t love the Beautiful Game?