Zifa pleads for financial support

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Outgoing Zifa president, Wellington Nyatanga has appealed to the government and the corperate world to financially support the Warriors, who are currently not in camp for their upcoming African Nations Championship (CHAN) return leg match against Swaziland on Sunday.

The locally-based players were supposed to get into camp on Tuesday but at the moment are having to train from home because Zifa cannot afford hotel bookings.

The ZIFA boss said the association’s chief executive officer, Henrietta Rushwaya was running around trying to source funds to address the situation.

Nyatanga admitted that this was the first time that such a scenario had occurred and it was a result of lack of sponsorship that has bedeviled the nation’s most popular sport.

“Our plight has been worsened by four teams currently involved in continental football this year, who are also in need of financial assistance to fulfill their fixtures.

“We are not getting much revenue from clubs and we don’t own television rights. We have all along been relying on well-wishers to fulfill some of our fixtures”, he said.

Nyatanga added that the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) was also to blame for Zifa’s woes as it is taking more from football than other sporting disciplines.

“The SRC is taking 6% in revenue from clubs participating in local and continental matches but they are failing to support the national cause”, he said.

Nyatanga said people should not put the blame on individuals but face reality, as even previous Zifa boards have faced such dilemmas, mentioning the era of Leo Mugabe as an example.

“The bottom line is that football has no sponsors. The economic environment is still not well, not only for Zifa, but the whole country, and football is a business. We cannot afford to fail to fulfill a fixture just because we have no resources because what is important is to qualify for the Africa Cup” he said.

Nyatanga suggested that the government should set aside a sports budget which will cater for national team’s causes, as it is expensive to cover costs of air tickets, accommodation, escorts and security for referees and visiting teams.

“Fifa, through CAF, only sponsor the development of football at grassroots level and we have to cover all the other expenses. We have had to fulfill fixtures through handouts but this year the economy has not allowed it,” he added