Zifa launch Football Trust

HARARE - The Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) yesterday commissioned the much-awaited Zimbabwe Football Trust (ZFT) which has been tasked to help mobilise funds for all national representative teams.

Zifa, who are currently reeling with a ballooning $4million debt and are desperate to spruce up the local game’s after the world-famous Asiagate match-fixing scandal, is in danger of pulling out the various national teams from fulfilling international assignments due to lack of funds.

The immediate task for the ZFT will be securing airfares for the Warriors for their trip to Egypt for a crucial 2014 World Cup Group G qualifier on March 26.

Another impending task awaiting ZFT is securing funds to make sure that Zimbabwe has a team capable of qualifying for 2015 African Nations Cup in Morocco.  

A number of leading business people, executives and sports administrators were yesterday appointed into the trust.

Among them is Marange Resources chairperson Tshinga Dube, Counduit managing director Marah Hativagoni, music promoter Barbra Chikosi and Mbada Diamonds CEO Patience Khumalo.

Led Travel and Tour managing director Bernard Gwarada, Air Zimbabwe acting-group CEO Innocent Mavhunga and businessman Phillemon Machana were also included.

Dynamos vice-chairperson Webster Chikengezha, who is also the managing director of Nyaradzo Funeral Assurance, together football legend George Shaya, complete the list of trusties in ZFT.

Speaking at the commissioning ceremony, Zifa president Cuthbert Dube said ZFT should help in unlocking local football’s true value.

“Zifa would like to confirm that the ZFT is what our game has been waiting for. The trust shall be the association’s vehicle which shall turn around the fortunes of our game,” Dube said.

“Established in terms of the Zifa Constitution, ZFT shall service football as mandated by the Zifa. The trust shall extricate the association from the challenges of yesteryear by unlocking local football’s value and repositioning our game in terms of its profile.

“The trust shall be a strategic and complementary arm of the association. The trust shall mobilise resources for football while the Zifa concentrates on promoting, controlling and developing the game.”

Dube drew parallels between the newly commissioned ZFT and the Warriors Trust of old which first came into existence in 2002.

The Warriors Trust was instrumental in raising funds for the national team and it was the driving force behind the country’s success of qualifying for the 2004 African Nations Cup in Tunisia.

That same Trust was also key in the Warriors’ successful campaign to qualify for the Afcon finals in Egypt two years later.

Problems however arose after the Trust was disbanded and due to the fact that the Warriors Trust was not properly commissioned, Zifa failed to recover a number of asserts.

Dube expressed confidence in the men and women chosen to be the members of ZFT.

“We have been a laughing stock for long time, as we have failed to service our commitments and we have been subjected to name calling and ridiculing. We were always viewed as a disorganised sport code which had to depend on hand-outs,” said the Zifa president.

“Today ladies and gentlemen Zifa would like to declare that the hour has come for football to unlock its real value and that shall be made possible through the inception of ZFT.

“ZFT is made up of eminent Zimbabweans drawn from the commanding heights of our economy.”

At the same meeting, Dube also repeated the mantra that the 2013 Afcon final qualifying match between Angola and Zimbabwe in Luanda last year was fixed.

Dube said he Zifa has gleaned all necessary information regarding this matter and will be making it public soon.      

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