Zifa among rogue FAs

HARARE – The Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) is among a host of FAs around the world that are guilty of being secretive with their operations and expenditure.

Transparency International (TI), a global anti-corruption watchdog yesterday released a report detailing how 81 percent of Fifa’s 209 members were failing to publish audited financial reports.

The watchdog surveyed the websites of all the associations and only 14 passed with flying colours when it came to issues to do with financial accounts, codes of conduct, charters and statutes, and information on activities.

Since FA’s are public institutions, such information should be readily available for scrutiny.

Only Canada, Denmark, England, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Norway, Portugal, the Republic of Ireland and Sweden FAs had all this information readily available.

Zifa’s audited financial books for the years 2011, 2012,  and 2013 cursed a scandal when the association failed to account for $750 000.

The association has also failed to publish their 2014-2015 books after they failed to pay $30 000 to auditors from Baker Tilly Gwatidzo.

“Any reform of Fifa will have to make that a priority.  Fans have a right to know how the money FAs generate through their interest in football is spent, as does the general public because governments also invest tax payers’ money in football at the national level.

“We believe greater transparency lessens the corruption risks.

“The results show just how necessary it is for world football to be reformed from the bottom up as well as from the top down.”

In September, Zifa misled the entire nation that they had made a loss of $12 500 by hosting the Warriors 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Guinea at Rufaro Stadium.

However, it emerged that former board members led by Fungai Chihuri had converted some of the gate takings into their pockets.

The Sports and Recreation Commission ordered a forensic audit into the Zifa books which unearthed even more irregularities.     

“Where there is a lack of information there are heightened corruption risks.

“The arrests of Fifa executives and their business partners have made the world aware of the corruption that can become systemic, even in football,” said TI.

“If football organisations incorporate best anti-corruption practices into how they operate, they can begin to win back trust among fans, limit the scope for bribery and corruption, and help in the fight against match-fixing.”

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