THE Premier Soccer League (PSL) has come to the rescue of financially troubled Zifa after releasing $65 000 to the soccer mother body which is expected to be directed towards payment of an $81 000 debt owed to former Warriors coach-Brazilian Jose Claudinei Georgini, Valinhos and possibly help rescue Zimbabwe’s 2018 World Cup campaign.
Zimbabwe has been expelled from the 2018 global showcase qualifiers because of their debt to Valinhos and will only be reinstated after settling the sum.
While the PSL made the payment last week, it has been confirmed that nothing has yet been channelled towards settling the debt that is threatening participation in the World Cup qualifiers.
Initially the debt owed to the coach stood at $67 000 but has swelled to $81 000 due to legal costs.
The PSL had outstanding levy and player registration and licensing fees from last year and the top flight league management realising the plight of the FA paid up last week – boosting the coffers of the association battling to raise money to pay the former Warriors coach.
PSL chief executive Kenny Ndebele confirmed payment of the $65 000 to the mother body.
“We have realised the problem Zifa is facing and we have paid the money which is for the outstanding levy from last year as well as player registration and licensing,” Ndebele said.
“We hope it is going to help solve their problem. We are supporting them in their efforts to solve the problems they are facing,” Ndebele said.
Zifa communications manager Xolisani Gwesela could not comment on the money they got from the PSL, but stressed that they would raise the money needed to pay the coach in due course.
“It’s work in progress. We are working to ensure that the money owed to the coach is paid in due course for Zimbabwe to be reinstated into the 2018 World Cup campaign,” Gwesela said.
Zimbabwe was expelled from the 2018 World Cup by Fifa two weeks ago for failure to pay Valinhos $67 000 in salary arrears.
The Brazilian was appointed coach of the Warriors in 2008, but was sacked just 11 months into the job following a spate of dreadful results.
The FA, however, failed to pay the coach for services rendered culminating in him taking the matter to world soccer governing body Fifa.
Zifa, in a bid to save the country from embarrassment have already written to lawyers representing Valinhos seeking a possible reinstatement ahead of the draw for the 2018 World Cup.
This was after Fifa stressed that the suspension was not subject to appeal but that a review would be made only if the association had reached a settlement with the creditor.
Arts, Sport minister and Culture Andrew Langa met with the Zifa board recently where a pledge was made to mobilise funds to pay off the debt and have Zimbabwe reinstated into the world football family.
Still Zifa’s decision to engage Belgian Tom Saintfiet from Namibia backfired with the Belgian coach instituting legal action seeking a $150 000 payment despite having conducted just one training session with the Warriors before his deportation by the Immigration authorities for working without a permit.