Mamelodi arrives in Zim

HARARE - Fifa development officer for southern Africa Ashford Mamelodi arrived in the country yesterday to attend a number of meetings regarding Zifa’s ballooning debt.

Mamelodi, who is based at the Fifa Development Office in Gaborone, Botswana, will hold a series of meetings with Zifa officials and the associations’ creditors.

“He is here on a Fifa mission. He will meet Zifa officials. “He is also scheduled to also meet some Zifa stakeholders.

“That’s all I can say for now,” Zifa spokesperson Xolisani Gwesela said.

Zifa currently has a $6 million debt the Philip Chiyangwa-led board inherited from the previous executive committee led by Cuthbert Dube.

Mamelodi is scheduled to meet some of these creditors who include banks, hotels, airlines, service providers and former Zifa employees during his visit which concludes on Saturday.

After assuming office last December, Chiyangwa and his board were tasked by Fifa to ensure they have engaged with the creditors to find a way to settle the cancerous debt.

Zifa was expected to engage with these creditors and come up with settlement plans in order for the association to function as a going concern.

However, last June Chiyangwa and the Zifa assembly unsuccessfully tried to liquidate the association thereby avoiding to pay the creditors.

With Zifa liquidated, a new body called the National Football Association of Zimbabwe (Nafaz) was lunched but it was short-lived.

The Master of the High Court threw out Zifa’s application for sequestration, forcing Chiyangwa to revert back to the status quo of Zifa.

Since the issue of the debt is still critical and still pending, Fifa have dispatched Mamelodi to get to the bottom of the matter.

The Fifa official is also scheduled to meet former Zifa presidents, administrators and referees.

Representatives from the Premier Soccer League clubs and those from grassroots football are also expected to meet with the Fifa official. 

Another pressing issue Mamelodi is expected to handle is the current state of women’s football.

There has not been a national football league since 2013 as boardroom squabbles have been the order of the day in the women’s game.

The women’s game is split into two camps; one that is aligned to the former board led by Miriam Sibanda and the other faction which is linked to the interim board chaired by Elizabeth Langa.   

Mighty Warriors players are not getting any league action while back at their clubs and will only start training when they go into camp ahead of the 2016 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations finals to be held in Cameroon later in November-December.

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