Zifa meet to set tone for year

HARARE - Zifa will this week hold a board meeting to deliberate on the federation’s budget for this year’s activities.

Chief executive Jonathan Mashingaidze indicated that the meeting would also pave way on getting into motion the launching of an ambitious project, dubbed a Football Trust, aimed at mobilising resources for local football governing body.

 Mashingaidze said Zifa will seek ways to reduce their mounting debts, which have sunk their coffers to a huge deficit of around $4m.

 Fifa recently has expressed concern over goings-on at Zifa, saying the association was sinking deeper into the quagmire and calling for more stringent measures to contain their ballooning debt.

Fifa development officer for Southern Africa, Ashford Mamelodi, and financial consultant Fidelis Banda, visited the country last year and warned Zifa of risking to lose the world football governing body’s support unless they show greater commitment to reduce their mounting debt.

 Mashingaidze is, however, confident Zifa will come up with lasting solutions to deal with the financial woes.

 “We are meeting this week to deliberate on association’s budget for the year 2013,” Mashingaidze said.

 “We cannot run football without budget. We need to know our position on our income and our expenditure. This will enable us to set the tone for our activities this year. The meeting should then lead us to engage Fifa, presenting our budget and other strategies that would enable us to reduce the deficit that we find ourselves into.

 “We need to move forward with the issue of the Football Trust fund so that we don’t continue going around with a begging bowel.

“We want to stand on our own, mobilising our own resources. We can’t keep on operating like this. We are lining a number of commercial activities this year, centering on marketing and financial discipline.”

 Zifa have also often been criticised for their poor marketing strategies, which have seen them fail to even tie up a kit deal for national teams.

 Zifa’s programmes have been derailed by mounting debts, which have literally crippled operations with association president Cuthbert Dube often being called on to chip in and use personal resources to bail out the association.  

Mashingaidze said the meeting will also touch on Zimbabwean football’s 50th anniversary, which is set for this year.

“Zimbabwean football will also be celebrating 50 years this year and there are quite a number of activities that we are lining up,” Mashingaidze said.

“We are going to have special awards where we will honour 10 players, coaches, referees, administrators and co-operates who have partnered our football for the past 50 years. There is also an award for 10 clubs who have put our game to where it is today.

 “We are looking at hosting high-profile matches as countdown to the celebrations.” - Godknows Matarutse

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