Zifa debt needs to be addressed: Fifa

HARARE - The newly elected Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) board needs to address the association’s ballooning debt if they are to develop the game in the country, a Fifa official has insisted.

Ashford Mamelodi, the Fifa development officer for southern and central Africa, said this after the conclusion of his two-day visit into the country for an induction workshop with new Zifa board members.

Mamelodi was meeting with Zifa president Cuthbert Dube and his newly elected board that came into office at the end of March.

Dube, who won a re-election for another four-year term, leads a board saddled by a spiralling $5 million debt that threatens to cripple Zifa operations.   

“The reason for coming here was really not discussing the Zifa debt but we did discuss it. We are going to discuss it further in terms of means and ways of having it addressed because we are worried as much as Zifa is,” Mamelodi told reporters yesterday.

“As long as this debt remains, it is going to inhabit the ability of this board to run football. The previous board had four year occupied by the famous Asiagate investigation more than anything else but the debt was also a problem.

“If you don’t have money and you are in debt to the extent that Zifa is at, how then do you develop the game?

“It’s something that we definitely going to address, this time we didn’t have a lot of time but it’s an important agenda item going forward.”

Mamelodi added that the football loving public must also come up with ideas to help Zifa.

“The size of this problem is so big that we really need a multi-sectorial approach of stakeholders of football in this country to come on board and assist Zifa,” he said.

“I really maintain that as long as the debt is there, you are really limiting the board’s ability to successfully run football.”

Mamelodi also tasked the Zifa board to speedily secure land where the association’s new headquarters will be built.

Fifa approved Zifa’s application for $500 000 from Goal Project to fund the new offices but the loan can be revoked if the association fails to secure land.

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