ZIFA – the national football mother body – has pledged to foot the costs of referees’ fees for all the football leagues in the country as the nation’s most followed sport braces for a return after a year in the cold.
No football was played last year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Zifa has accepted terms tabled by the sports regulatory body, the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC), as preconditions for the resumption of football.
“Zifa will keep its obligations to foot referees’ fees for all leagues as well as footing some costs for Covid-19 testing.
“The Association has further engaged all affiliates for further input to ensure that the eventual standard operating procedures we shall use are relevant to local football realities,” said Zifa spokesman Xolisani Gwesela.
Gwesela did not elaborate the exact extent that Zifa will be assisting local clubs with testing for coronavirus.
“Zifa is grateful to government for providing the platform for a safe return of football. We are confident that the proposed standard operating procedures will result in low risk of infection as well as manageable costs for all stakeholders,” he said.
The move by Zifa to foot the costs of referees’ fees will come as a relief for financially struggling teams who are battling to secure sponsorship.