REIGNING Zimbabwe Premier Soccer League champions FC Platinum are set to receive a timely money boost amid revelations that the Confederation of African Football (Caf) has resolved to accelerate the payment of the final tranche of US$3,5 million to teams that made it into the 2019/ 2020 inter club competitions’ group stages.
The Caf Champions League and Confederations Cup contests were suspended ahead of the semi-finals due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Usually, clubs received their financial entitlements for the interclub competitions at the end of the season.
The distribution of the money, which has since commenced, is to reduce the financial burden on the 32 clubs that reached the group stages of the Total Caf Champions League and Total Caf Confederation Cup, in the wake of the ravaging Covid-19 pandemic.
The minimum guaranteed for clubs participating in the Champions League is US$550 000 and US$275 000 for the Total Caf Confederation Cup.
After making it into the Champions League’s round of 16, Pure Platinum Play, got half of US$550 000 early this year and the remainder was set to be paid after the final match of the competition.
“In the wake of the Covid-19 related pressure, we welcome Caf’s move to push forward the payment. We initially got half of US$550 000 in January and we are happy to say this was a speedy and timeous response from Caf. With no doubt this gesture will take away the burden that we have been facing.
“We were supposed to get the balance after the Caf Champions League final match and in light of growing concerns and evolving nature of Covid-19 pandemic we welcome the relief. We are going to use the money to cater for our other club responsibilities that include expenses that we incurred during our 2019/ 2020 African Safari,” said FC Platinum media liaison officer Chido Chizondo.
Caf president Ahmad Ahmad acknowledged that Covid-19 had negatively impacted the world’s most beautiful game.
“The world of football and for that matter African football is going through unprecedented difficulties. The current situation has had a telling effect on African football stakeholders, and Caf is being responsive to the needs of our clubs, one of our key stakeholders, by facilitating the payment of their prize monies well ahead of time,” said Ahmad Ahmad.
Triangle represented Zimbabwe in the Caf Confederations Cup competition, the second-tier competition of African club football which ranks below the Caf Champions League.
The Sugar Boys could not progress to the group stages of the Caf Confederation Cup last November after they failed to overturn a two-goal deficit against Mauritanian side FC Nouadhibou in the second leg play-off at Barbourfields Stadium.
The Lowveld side needed to score two goals without reply to force the match into extra time or win the match by a three-goal margin to progress to the group stages, having lost the first leg match 2-0.