Fifa to fund Zifa HQ construction

HARARE - FIFA has committed to funding the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa)’s new headquarters in Harare, it has been learnt.

This comes as association president Cuthbert Dube has been re-appointed to the global body’s standing committees and vice president Ndumiso Gumede had said in February that they were angling for a $500 000 grant from Switzerland.

While the development has come across as a big confidence booster for the current executive, people familiar with the development said a team of experts and other contractors had already been appointed to spearhead the Hatfield project.

“It is true that Zifa has secured funding from Fifa for the mixed-use project and it (gesture) really arises from the two organisations’ improved relations over the years. In a way, it’s also a confidence vote for the current leadership, especially in the wake of its robust policies to manage the association’s resources,” they said.

“We owe this largely to Sepp Blatter’s goodwill, but also internal measures such as the directive to have the global body pay contractors directly.”

According to government insiders, the multi-million structure will comprise a small hotel – for income-generating purposes – Zifa’s new corporate head-office, and house the Zifa Trust and possibly the Premier Soccer League.

In February, Gumede said they were waiting for a huge cash injection from Fifa – and subject to land acquisition in Harare – contruction will get underway.

Outside Fifa’s occasional help, Zifa has largely been surviving on Dube’s benevolence as he has pumped millions of his personal money.

Meanwhile, a contractor has been appointed for the construction of a $150 000 key link road to the Zifa Village in Mount Hampden.

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