HARARE - Zifa president Philip Chiyangwa is confident the Confederation of African Football Club Licensing seminar will help the local clubs improve their governance and attain professionalism.
Speaking during the official opening of the two-day indaba in the capital yesterday, Chiyangwa urged all Premiership clubs to lead in adopting Fifa’s club licensing requirements.
Caf dispatched a three-member delegation of Maxwell Mtonga of Malawi, Honour Janza from Zambia and South Africa’s Dennis Mumble to exchange views on the best way to effectively institute club licences.
“The Zimbabwe Football Association as the sole custodian of football in the land saw it fit to embrace club licensing as a tool of enhancing professionalism in our game,” Chiyangwa said.
“A professional environment allows football to realise its full potential. There is no shortcut to football excellence and hence the need to give our clubs the professional facelift.
“The club is the shop window of the association and it is our conviction that the clubs should be technically resourced through such initiatives like the club licensing framework.
“Zifa would like to see clubs owning training grounds; gymnasiums, testing laboratories, sports complexes which can offer modest apartments for players, sports shops, auditoriums, the list is endless. Our clubs cannot afford to continue wallowing in stagnations and under development.
“The club system should see executive committees allowed to take charge of club affairs. The statutes should help the clubs attain their legal status and stability. The clubs should have qualified personnel running the show.
“We need to have youth academies set up by our clubs. Zimbabwean football has come of age and we need to see our clubs assuming a professional outlook.
Chiyangwa also castigated the “high” levies paid by Castle Premiership clubs to the stadium owners. Premiership clubs have been crying out, for years now that the levies paid to councils for the use of their stadiums like Barbourfields, Rufaro and Gwanzura are too high and have been crippling their shaky financial base.
In addition to the 20 percent of gross earnings they pay to local authorities for the use of their stadia facilities, clubs also pay six percent to the Sports and Recreation Commission, while another six percent is directed to Zifa.
The ministry of Local Government charges Zifa 15 percent of the total revenue each time the association uses the National Sports Stadium which also applies when Premiership teams want to use the same venue.
And apart from these levies, the teams also take the financial obligations for the referees, cashiers as well as stadium security provided by the police.
“May I take this opportunity to implore the owners of football venues not to bleed the game white,” Chiyangwa said.
“The stadium levies should not suffocate the clubs and the association at large. The venue owners should also strive to improve the standard of our stadia.”
Chiyangwa added: “The PSL elections set for March 5 should see the league being led by a chairman who will not only be part of the new Zifa board but should be able to allow the league to contribute to Zifa.
“The PSL should closely work with the mother body and at no point should Zifa and the affiliate leagues be in conflict with each other.”