Can Zifa emulate Ireland one day?

10 Sep, 2021 - 00:09 0 Views
Can Zifa emulate Ireland one day?


Raymond Jaravaza
COMPARISONS have been drawn, many a times, between the performances of the Warriors and Mighty Warriors vis-à-vis match fees paid for taking part in major tournaments with public opinion still split on the subject.

Just recently, the Warriors were dangled a US$64 000 carrot to win the game against Ethiopia, money that was hastily put together on the eve of the game in the Eastern African country, but that was not enough to motivate the ever-disappointing men’s senior team. In contrast, stories have been published in the press of how the Mighty Warriors were given paltry salaries for participating in a major tournament such as the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

Is it possible for Zifa to one day consider paying the men’s and women’s teams the same match fees and incentives as was the case with the Ethiopia US$64 000 carrot?

About 13 000 kilometres away, that question was answered by the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) whose historic move to pay equal match fees was hailed by the country’s footballers.

The move was made after talks including team captains Seamus Coleman (men’s) and Katie McCabe (women’s).
“It’s not about money, it’s about being considered equal,” said forward Stephanie Roche.

“If you ask any of the girls, nobody wants to be paid to play for their country. This is about parity, for years one group has been paid and one not.

“I think that sent out the wrong message. We all work hard for our country when we play and this shows that the FAI care and they want to improve the standard of women’s football,” she told BBC Sport.

Back home, former Mighty Warriors player Nomsa ‘Boyz’ Moyo said equal match fees was long overdue.

“The Mighty Warriors go through the same sacrifices as the Warriors to represent the nation but one wonders why the two teams are treated differently. For years the Mighty Warriors have been treated badly but no one seems to care yet when it comes to the Warriors, their welfare becomes of utmost importance,” said Moyo.

She cited an example of how differently the two teams have been treated in the past.

“During my playing days with the Mighty Warriors, the Zifa Village became our permanent camping base but when the Warriors refused to camp there, Zifa would find alternative accommodation in expensive hotels. Where is the fairness in that?” she asked.

Moyo, who is now the treasurer for the Footballers Union of Zimbabwe (FUZ), is however still hopeful that one day the Mighty Warriors and Warriors will be treated equally.

Zifa spokesman Xolisani Gwesela was not available for comment.

Almost all the candidates vying for the Zifa presidency in previous elections have promised to ‘reform’ the system that treats the men’s and women’s teams differently but nothing concrete has come out from those promises.

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