Zifa pins hope on Fifa

HARARE - Ashford Mamelodi, the Fifa regional development officer, is expected in the country later this month to assess the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa)’s implementation of its strategic plan, which also includes its debt servicing process.

This comes as association president Cuthbert Dube has made an impassioned plea for creditors to consider a moratorium, as the cash-strapped body struggles to clear a ballooning $5 million-plus debt.

“While we note our creditors’ rights to payment for services rendered to the association, l would like to passionately appeal to all our stakeholders to bear with us as we continue with efforts to implement a debt servicing and turnaround plan to cater for all those issues,” the Zifa boss said in a statement prompted by the “the increasing number of creditors who have been itching to execute writs against the association by way of attaching property and other measures”.

“Much as it is not a secret that Zifa has serious financial problems – with a debt of nearly $6 million – l would also like to assure all our creditors and suppliers that my board remains committed to servicing all debts assumed under this council’s current tenure, and those inherited in March 2010,” Dube said, adding “this repayment plan was not only anchored in our four-year strategic plan (SP), but continuous engagement with our creditors and debtors as well”.

While the former medical executive insisted Thursday that their current efforts were “underpinned by the strategic plan and had the buy-in of key stakeholders in football”, it is understood that Dube’s optimism was also based on Mamelodi’s impending visit and the global mother body Fifa’s willingness to help Zifa out of its doldrums.

This week, the Zifa leadership also emphasised that the current dialogue was aimed at hammering out payment plans and to stave off the execution of writs, which would have meant the removal of property at Zifa House and Zifa Village.

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