ZIFA’s strategy to win public sympathy by releasing an income and expenditure statement for the Warriors’ Afcon qualifier against Guinea, which suggested a big loss, has backfired after several irregularities in the document were exposed.
Henry Mhara/ Kevin Mapasure
The statement — which includes some double payments — contains anomalies that have raised questions, potentially further alienating the football mother body from financial well-wishers.
Zifa claims a loss of US$12 481 from the match, but also admits including costs from previous national team engagements.
The Afcon qualifier, played at Rufaro stadium, grossed US$88 542 from the gates of which Harare City Council took US$13 281 as ground rental, while match referees were paid US$3 800.
The ZRP got US$3 630 for providing security with the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC), Caf and Fifa taking US$5 313, US$4 427 and US$1 771 respectively.
Former Premier Soccer League finance manager Cuthbert Mutandwa has questioned why the money Zifa received from well-wishers such as PHD Ministries leader Prophet Walter Magaya — who chipped in with US$20 000 — was not factored in the statement.
Magaya donated the amount towards players’ allowances, but in the income and expenditure statement Zifa claim to have paid the players US$22 000 from gate takings.
Sources have also indicated that a private college Herentals donated two buses used by the teams, but Zifa claim they forked out US$3 000 for the transport, which would still be exorbitant if the hiring claims are true.
“There has often been a misrepresentation of facts on their (Zifa) part where they declare losses when in fact they would have made a profit,” said Mutandwa. “They included other costs that are not related to the direct costs from this particular match (Zimbabwe versus Guinea).
“Expenditure of the day should comprise direct costs like levies and payments to service providers for that day. It should not for instance include accommodation and players’ allowances.”
He added that Zifa had not declared all service and cash donations in the statement.
“The association even thanked a number of associations which contributed towards the match, meaning there was funding they got towards the match. But those contributions were not declared in their income and expenditure. What happened to those organisations’ contributions?”
Zifa spokesperson Xolisani Gwesela defended the figures, but refused to discuss particular details.
“The figures came from the finance committee and we trust they exercised due diligence in coming up with those figures,” he said.
In their statement Zifa also claim to have paid US$12 500 towards accommodation for players and the technical team, but coach Kalisto Pasuwa had to negotiate for the release of the players by the owners of the facilities at which the players were camped a day after the match, since nothing had been paid.
A red flag was also raised over the delay in releasing the figures as all financial transactions are finalised on match day.
Glaring among the inconsistencies is the US$300 paid for car hire for match officials which is duplicated in the same statement by a payment of the same amount towards the same service for match referees.
The match officials, who came from Botswana, were ferried by Zifa official who is also a referee, Ruzive Ruzive, using his own car.
The match commissioner had a separate car which was also hired for US$300.
There are also questions over the number of committees paid from proceeds, which include finance, which was paid US$750, security (US$350), grounds (US$100) and competitions (US$1 400).
A US$300 refund on transport for match officials has also been queried since transport for referees was included in the US$12 500 Zifa paid for air tickets, including those for foreign-based players.
There is a further US$1 900 recorded as a refund for the purchase of an air ticket.
Presumably, since Zifa is declining to entertain questions on the statement, it was reimbursement to Czech-Republic based defender Costa Nhamoinesu, the only player to have used his own funds to travel for the match.
But that amount must have been included in the US$12 500 recorded in the statement as transport for players.
Eight players travelled from South Africa and three from Europe.
Another aspect that has raised questions is the provision of US$3 250 as cost of match tickets.
On average tickets costs about US6 cents each to print and if Zifa ordered
30 000 of them, they should have cost about US$1 800.