Women's football on fire

HARARE - Zimbabwe women’s football boss Miriam Sibanda has likened women’s football to an estranged wife who has been left to fend for herself by a dishonest and uncaring husband.

Pouring out her heart in parliament on Thursday, Sibanda left no stone unturned, blasting the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) secretariat for abandoning the girl child before accusing the Premier Soccer League for showing no respect for the national women’s team.

Women’s football has for some time been going through turbulent times, with players’ owed allowances, the women’s league running without a sponsor and the national team being subjected to deplorable conditions.

“The hurt you feel is the same hurt l feel every day. Things are not well. I have prepared a report for you to see, but things are not well. The girl child is not getting the same recognition with their male counterparts,” Sibanda said.

“If it’s men football then everyone rushes to make money available for the team.”

Sibanda, a former journalist, added that she is yet to receive induction from the Zifa board despite assuming office over three months ago.

“As I speak to you no induction has been done, we are in the dark. We are just like women whose husbands have abandoned them to find their own way,” he said.

“There has not been any hand over-take-over of the accounts or budgets. I have been told by the secretariat 'women football is a petty issues,’ zvongonzi ‘vakadzi munotaurisa (then they say women you talk too much).

“We understand there is money coming from Fifa, $250 000 (annual grant), so give us our 15 percent so that we start running.

“Yes the league has kicked off after a long time but it is really painful that it is running without a sponsor.

“It hurts that the premier league will run at the same time when the women’s national team is playing, just across the road. A counter attraction. But for men, just a friendly encounter all soccer matches are stopped.

“It’s not just there. Even at grassroots. At the COPA Coca Cola tournament boys get more than girls, is the football they are playing different? or isn’t it the same football that is being played.”

“Winners of the boys’ category of the COPA Coca Cola Chemhanza received $6500 whilst girls winners Chidyamakono received $3000.

“We are suffering but just hanging in there like women. So being called here to say what is on our hearts we are happy our cases will be heard.”

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