AT a time when the Zimbabwe Football Association waits for the Confederation of African Football (Caf) US$200 000 financial grant with bated breath, the association’s communications manager Xolisani Gwesela has revealed the money would solely be meant to take care of administrative issues as opposed to cushioning their affiliates in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Caf recently announced the fast-track of financial grants to all its member associations confirming that a total of US$10,8 million would be immediately distributed to countries, following a meeting of their emergency committee about a fortnight ago.
“That US$200 000 Caf grant is solely meant for administrative issues. It’s money that we have been getting each and every year and it’s not meant to benefit any of our affiliates,” said Gwesela.
Caf have already paid out US$3,5 million to the teams that participated in the 2019-2020 inter-club competitions, which were suspended ahead of the semi-finals due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Caf’s 54-member associations were also forced to suspend all domestic competitions, which has as a result brought about huge financial burdens on their shoulders.
Domestic football clubs have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic as some of their major revenue streams, like gate takings, have been blown away.
Against such a background, Gwesela reckoned that the Fifa US$700 000 relief fund that they applied for would benefit all the Zifa affiliates.
“All our affiliates will get to benefit from the relief fund that we applied for from Fifa. However, Fifa are yet to advise on the money. We have so many affiliates and we are happy to say that will be the money they will be able to get. Zifa debts are also being prioritised and we have cleared a large chunk of them,” said Gwesela.
Last weekend, after a Zifa board meeting the local football mother body’s president Felton Kamambo was quoted as saying: “ . . . Life has never been this good at Zifa, after paying $7, 5 million to creditors (at 1:1 to US). US$700 000 received from Fifa, US$200 000 USD coming from Caf . . . Zifa will assist the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League . . . Details are being worked on.”
He added they had to be seen to be playing the role of football leaders in the country, in good and bad times.
“PSL, we are going to assist. The PSL chairperson (Farai Jere) gave an account of how clubs are struggling. From 20 June, we will tell you how we can assist. The Zifa secretariat will come up with a paper on how we are going to assist them. We will come back to them (PSL) on the 20th (June),” said Kamambo.