Zifa offices shut down

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The cash strapped Zimbabwe Football Association has closed their head offices to allow all its workers to go and watch the 2010 World Cup taking place in South Africa, amid suspicion that the offices were closed due to a debt owed to a city lodge.
Sources said the football governing body had decided to close shop after a messenger of court acting on behalf of a city lodge came to attach property last Thursday amid reports that it is owed between $21 000 and $23 000.
The bill, sources said, is believed to have been accrued by Zifa council members who were accommodated at a lodge which is situated in one of the leafy suburbs in the city during the Zifa elections in March.
When NewsDay visited the Zifa offices yesterday at midday and later in the day there was no activity or even one employee at 53 Livingston Avenue. Even the security details who usually protect the premises were nowhere in sight.
The crew saw a postman on his daily duty who had to turn back with the mail he had intended to deliver at the offices after he found the offices closed, leaving the Northern Region, which is housed at the offices, stranded.
The acting Chief executive officer Jonathan Mashingaidze who is standing in for Henrietta Rushwaya who is away in South Africa later confirmed that they had given their employees time off to go and watch the World Cup.
“We have asked our employees to go and watch the World Cup from their homes, he said. “It is true that we have closed our offices and they will remain closed until further notice.”
When first asked for comment, the Zifa vice president Ndumiso Gumede said he had not heard about the closure of the offices but when he later consulted he said it was because the employees had been given a break to watch the World Cup.
The various regional division one leagues, which are all run under the auspices of Zifa, are all in progress while the football mother body’s secretariat which is supposed to organise all the necessary logistics is on holiday.
The association is struggling to attract corporate sponsorship which has resulted in them withdrawing all junior teams from continental competitions.
The national association, in conjunction with corporate partners organised an international friendly match against five- time world champions Brazil two weeks ago, which attracted thousands of fans and thousands in television rights.
But there have not been a public report on how much the national association realised from the match and this comes as players who took part in the match claim they were paid just $200.
Zifa president Cuthbert Dube has called for transparency in the organisation’s operations as the only solution to attract corporate partnership, but with such happenings where they incur debts willy-nilly and then close shop for the World Cup, there can be no confidence in the association.