Zifa begs for Fifa rescue package

IN a bid to turn around the fortunes of football in Zimbabwe, cash strapped Zifa have taken their begging bowl to Fifa where they are asking for a US$2 million rescue package.

Among other things the mother body seeks to offset a debt of over half a million dollars the current board claims was left by the previous one led by Wellington Nyatanga.
The current board led by Cuthbert Dube came into office in March this year, but has been struggling to sort out the mess left by the departed grouping.
Zifa president Cuthbert Dube told journalists at a press conference last week that his board had written to Fifa outlining the association’s problems and needs.
“We have written to Fifa asking for a substantial amount of money to finance the debt which we inherited from the previous association in addition to other goals that we wish to achieve,” said Dube.
He would however not go into details of how much they had asked for, preferring to refer to it as a “substantial amount” which he believes they will access from Fifa.
But a source at Zifa yesterday told IndependentSport that Zifa has sought a US$2 million rescue package from Fifa.
“There are so many problems that need sorting out. There is no money at Zifa so they wrote to Fifa asking them for $2m,” said the source. “There is a lot that they need to do. Remember they were talking about building a new headquarters and they need to offset debt among many other things. They are confident that they will get the money.”
Zifa recently failed to pay the national Under-20 team that was participating at the Cosafa tournament in Botswana their daily allowances and the players had to dig into their own pockets.
The junior teams are only making a comeback to international football after they were pulled out of all tournaments by the previous board due to the cash crunch at Zifa.
On the other hand last month the senior national soccer team almost failed to fulfill their friendly fixture against Mozambique only to be bailed out by Led transport at the last minute.
Zifa acting chief executive officer Jonathan Mashingaidze confirmed that the mother body was struggling under huge debt, something that was hindering the smooth operation of day to day running of the association.
“We inherited a huge debt we are getting all sorts of bills that are still coming in and we can’t move forward at the moment we need to get that out of the way,” said Mashingaidze. “When the Fifa delegation came last month we outlined to them our challenges and they asked us to put it all in writing which we did two weeks ago and we are awaiting a response.”
Among other projects they seek to finance is the building of a village in Kariba, the same as the Zifa village in Mount Hampden, which they hope national teams can use for camping.
They have since received US$400 000 for the second phase of the Goal Project which will see the renovation of lodgings at the Mount Hampden facility.
Zifa is also having problems regarding the appointment of a national team coach where their top target Charles Mhlauri is reported to have demanded cash up front.
The Zifa presidium which has taken upon itself to appoint the national team coach, is favouring the American based Mhlauri but have no money to pay him.
They may yet go for championship winner Rahman Gumbo, surprise candidate Benjamin Moyo, or Ian Gorowa.

 

Kevin Mapasure

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