ZIMBABWE were yesterday expelled from the preliminary competition of the 2018 Fifa World Cup Russia after failing to settle a debt owed to former coach, José Claudinei Georgini, popularly known as Valinhos.
BY WELLINGTON TONI
The debt is believed to be US$67 000. The ban came on the day the 2018 qualifiers started with Bhutan, ranked 209 (last) in the world, won their first ever World Cup qualifier, beating Sri Lanka 1-0.
Zifa last night appealed to Fifa secretary general Jerome Valcke over the judgement.
“We have already appealed to the Fifa secretary general as he had asked us to favour his office with our state of indebtedness by March 16 (Monday). We will also engage the regional office, but we will also stand guided by the board,” said Zifa chief executive Jonathan Mashingaidze.
Valinhos was brought in during the Wellington Nyatanga era, which had Henrietta Rushwaya as chief executive officer in 2008.
Nyatanga was deputised by former AmaZulu secretary Tendai Madzorera. Valinhos salary was never made public.
The coach signed a one-year deal, only receiving his salary for the first six months of his tenure which was paid by the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority.
The rest of the wage bill was supposed to be picked up by Zifa, but the coach was fired after a dismal 2010 Afcon and World Cup campaign without receiving the balance of his salary.
This suggests Fifa, which was due to give Zifa US$300 000 for the World Cup qualifiers, would now use part of that money to pay Valinhos if Zifa loses the appeal.