ZIFA has told parliamentarians that local football had suffered due to the harsh economic environment prevailing in the country and the mother body was struggling to pay back a $5 million debt it owes to various service providers.
The Zifa leadership led by its vice-president Ndumiso Gumede said this while appearing before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Sport, Arts and Culture on the state of football in Parliament yesterday. Gumede, who was standing in for national association president Cuthbert Dube was accompanied by the association’s chief executive Jonathan Mashingaidze and the Friends of Warriors, who were represented by Simeon Jamanda.
Gumede’s sentiments came after former Dynamos secretary general Ray Kazembe, who is the MP for Mazowe West asked Gumede what had gone wrong in local football and what the association was doing to develop football at grassroots level.
“Something has definitely gone wrong and in my humble view and firstly we must not ignore the economic factors. If people had money they would be willing to give but we need this august house to put in place ways of generating revenue.
“If for instance you charge every business in this country 1% towards social responsibility fund which would go to sport and not football only and then the Sports and Recreation Commission would distribute according to importance, we would get somewhere. Rebates on tax for those companies that directly fund football would also go a long way in assisting.
“It’s a pity you mentioned us failing to take our Under-17 and Under-20s to tournaments. We have since suspended our participation in those tournament until we put our house in order, but the long and short of it honourable members is that there’s no money.
“We have to try to get out of the $5 million debt. On paper it was $600 000, but no sooner did we take office some companies came from nowhere in 2010 saying you had a debt dating from 2007 yet it was not on the initial list we were given.